What Happens When You Can’t Pay Your Condo’s Common Expense Fees?

Becoming a condo owner or occupant is a huge step forward for many Canadians, but climbing the social ladder isn’t all smooth sailing. In some cases, you might fall behind on your common expenses, and if this occurs, then your condo’s board of directors can register a common expense lien. Here’s what you need to know and how discussing your situation with HLD landlord dispute lawyers might help you move forward.

Understanding Common Expense Liens

In Canada, condo corporations are run by boards of directors. These legal entities make all of the important decisions concerning matters such as

  • Condo finances,
  • Facility maintenance and upkeep, and
  • How to enforce by-laws, rules, declarations and the Condo Act.

Common expense fees are what you pay to maintain the so-called common elements of your condo. They go toward everything from the parking garages and shared recreation spaces to lobbies and landscaping elements. In addition to covering the labor, compliance and material costs of routine maintenance, these fees may contribute to reserve funds used for major repairs and business expenses.

When a condo owner fails to pay these costs, condominium corporations may seek common expense liens, or formal legal securities used to secure the delinquent sums. Although condo boards need to file notices and register their intentions via formal certificates within 90 days of a default, these aren’t big hurdles for most entities. Corporations that follow through gain immense power since liens may give them the right to sell condo units, send claims to collections or take other recovery steps.

How Can Talking to a Lawyer Help?

Landlord and tenant board appeals may provide another option for facing these problems head-on. Condo corporations can seek liens in court without having to go through mediation or arbitration first, so tenants and owners might find it smart to pursue these unexplored alternative avenues of resolution. Having professional representation is important because it improves your chances of dealing with these issues as amicably as possible so that you can move forward.

Another important consideration is that many owners typically end up paying for expenses like the legal fees incurred by condo corporations that pursue liens. In other words, it may be in your best interest to seek as much out-of-court resolution as reasonably possible.

Are You Ready to Get the Ball Rolling?

Dealing with a common expense lien doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In some cases, your condo corporation might ultimately be willing to overlook an innocent mistake or oversight related to a hardship. If you’re willing to resolve the issue informally, the board might come to the bargaining table without actually registering a certificate of lien, but this demands that you be proactive about facing the problem.

Chat with the landlord dispute lawyers at HLD. We’re always ready to help you improve your odds with sound legal representation. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call HLD Lawyers at 416-800-2557 and learn more about your options.