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Condo residents should never stop paying association dues

Residents of Pennsylvania that live in a dwelling that qualifies as a condominium or townhome likely have association dues that they must pay. These dues cover items such as lawn care, garbage disposal and more. However, sometimes a resident that is paying these dues may not believe that the association is upholding their end of the bargain and the association money is not being put to good use. This could result in a real estate dispute.

When residents feel that their association is not taking the appropriate action with the association dues, sometimes those residents will stop paying their dues in rebellion. However, a recent case involving condominium litigation provided a good lesson for those that may feel like making a point to their association by not paying their dues. The result could be much more harmful.

In this recent case, a developer of the condominium association still owned numerous units but had not been paying the association dues on these units. The condominium association took the developer to court and the Philadelphia court determined that the developer not only owed the association the $100,000 in back due association fees but would also be responsible for paying the association's $30,000 in lawyer fees.

In the seminal case in this area of law, which was decided in 1990, the court determined that a resident must always pay their association dues and then, if they feel that the association is doing something improper, they must file a separate lawsuit against the association.

With regards to this case, when a property dispute arises between a condominium or townhome owner and their association, it would be improper to stop paying the association dues. If the resident does that, they are ultimately putting themselves in danger of ultimately owing far more to their association. If a resident seeks to dispute any association fees or has any other issues with an association, they should understand their situation so they can take appropriate action.

Source: The Legal Intelligencer, "Unit Owners Can Be Liable for Condo Association's Legal Fees," Alan Nochumson, Aug. 19, 2014

Source: The Legal Intelligencer, "Unit Owners Can Be Liable for Condo Association's Legal Fees," Alan Nochumson, Aug. 19, 2014

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