If you live in a house, condominium, or townhome that is part of a common interest community in Idaho, you are most likely responsible for paying dues and assessments to the homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association (COA). If you don’t pay, the HOA or COA can typically get a lien on your property that could lead to a foreclosure.
Read on to learn about the particular requirements for HOA and COA foreclosures in Idaho.
The Condominium Property Act (Idaho Code Ann. § § 55-1501 to 55-1527) governs COAs, while § 45-810 of the Idaho Statutes governs HOA liens in the state.
In addition, the rules regarding the operation of the COA or HOA, including those pertaining to assessments liens, can be found in the association’s governing documents such as the bylaws and Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). (To find out more about what's in your association’s governing and other relevant documents, see Before Buying: How to Read the CC&Rs or Homeowners' Association (HOA) Documents.)
Most COAs and HOAs have the power to place a lien on your home if you become delinquent in paying the monthly dues and/or any special assessments (collectively referred to as assessments).
Unpaid COA assessments become a lien on a condominium when the COA records a notice of assessment in the county records (Idaho Code Ann. § 55-1518).
An HOA must also record its claim of lien in the county records and must serve a copy to the homeowner personally or by certified mail within five business days after recording it (Idaho Code Ann. § 45-810(2)(a),(d)). The HOA does not have to file additional claims for later unpaid assessments if the original or any later assessment remains unpaid (Idaho Code Ann. § 45-810(2)(b)).
Typically, state law and/or a COA or HOA’s governing documents will describe any charges that may be included in the lien. In Idaho, a COA is permitted to include the amount of any assessment, together with other charges described in the governing documents, such as:
An HOA lien may consist of the unpaid assessments for the reasonable costs incurred in maintaining the common areas accrued in the previous 12 months (Idaho Code Ann. § 45-810(1)).
A COA must provide you with a statement of the unpaid assessments (and other charges due) within ten days, if you request it. The COA may charge a reasonable fee for providing the statement (Idaho Code Ann. § 55-1507(h)).
Lien priority determines what happens to other liens, mortgages, and lines of credit if your COA or HOA lien is foreclosed. (To learn more about lien priority and its importance in HOA foreclosures, see What happens to my mortgages if the HOA forecloses on its lien?)
To find out the priority of an COA or HOA lien in Idaho, check the association’s governing documents.
If you default on the assessments, the COA or HOA can foreclose. A common misconception is that the association cannot foreclose if you are current with your mortgage payments. However, the association’s right to foreclose has nothing to do with whether you are current on your mortgage payments. (Learn more about HOA liens and foreclosure.)
Idaho law states that a COA may foreclose its lien:
Idaho’s HOA statute does not specifically state that a lien can be foreclosed nonjudicially, so this means that an HOA will generally foreclose its lien by filing a lawsuit in court. (As a practical matter, an Idaho HOA’s governing documents could provide the right to foreclose a lien nonjudicially, however, it is unclear if this would be legally enforceable.)
If you are facing an COA or HOA foreclosure, you should consult with an attorney licensed in Idaho to discuss all legal options available in your particular circumstances. (See our HOA Foreclosure topic page for articles on HOAs, possible options to catch up if you are delinquent in payments, how bankruptcy can help discharge dues, HOA super liens, and more.)