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To begin this, I have lived in this residence for a decade now. The community charges $300 annually for access to the community pool, to which I only actually used the first three years living here. I was handed a case by a police officer today saying I have exactly 30 days upon receiving the letter to pay dues for the community pool for the past 8 years that I have not used it. The communities HOA has made it incredibly difficult to contact to ask for a copy of the rules and regulations, since their automated phone system demands a pin of some sort to which it swiftly disconnects you if you do not have it. My question is, can they legally force me to pay this fee? Is there another way to obtain a copy of the community rules and regulations?

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    If the automated phone system is the only avenue you've tried, you aren't trying very hard. Unless you are willing to post the HOA's bylaws on this site, we aren't going to be of much help to you. The CCR's should at least be filed with a county agency, wherever deeds are recorded. But you shouldn't need to go there; your HOA management should be able to provide another copy if you can't find yours.The fact that the $300/year is specific to the pool is definitely intriguing. The fact that the police handed you a "case?" is even moreso. – jqning Jan 4 '16 at 19:28
  • &jqning This question is actually information gathered from my father who owns the home. His information was unclear. The charges may just be from maintenance fees of the community, which i have been informed have not been paid for 8 years, which i can understand the situation in those regards. The charges were only $1500 even though 300 x 8 = 2400, $900 less than the demanded amount, so it does support this. My father is most likely in the wrong, however i will still take the time to review the CCRs to be safe. – Neuromeda Jan 4 '16 at 21:11
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The community charges $300 annually for access to the community pool, to which I only actually used the first three years living here.

It likely does not matter whether you used the pool or not.

I was handed a case by a police officer today saying I have exactly 30 days upon receiving the letter to pay dues for the community pool for the past 8 years that I have not used it.

I imagine the result of failure to pay the HOA fee is a lien on the property. I don't know whether foreclosure is an option but it might be.

The communities HOA has made it incredibly difficult to contact to ask for a copy of the rules and regulations, since their automated phone system demands a pin of some sort to which it swiftly disconnects you if you do not have it.

This is not likely to be a valid excuse for not paying the HOA dues. You almost certainly owe them regardless and you probably also owe any late charges or penalties associated with not paying on time.

My question is, can they legally force me to pay this fee?

Nobody can force you to pay. But if they present their case in court and win, the judge can force you to pay, have your assets seized, garnish your wages, or put you in jail if you refuse. That comes pretty close.

Is there another way to obtain a copy of the community rules and regulations?

Of course. Send certified letters requesting the CCRs to:

  1. The HOA office
  2. The government office where the deed is recorded

If the CCRs are valid and binding something to that effect will be recorded on the deed. If so, the current valid and binding CCRs may be filed with the government or may only be available from the HOA.

I am not a lawyer. If you have $2,400 to pay I suggest you pay it and stay current on all future payments. HOAs that actually notice missing fees are not to be trifled with. If you think they are making your life miserable now, you ain't seen nothing yet.

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The requirement to pay HOA fees and abide by their rules is usually part of the codes, covenants and restrictions that accompany the deed to your house or apartment. You probably agreed to them when you bought the house. This is the source of the HOA's authority to assess fees.

You would have to read those documents to see if they place any limits on HOA fees, or if they give you a right to opt out. My guess is that they do not.

As a property owner within the HOA, you should certainly have the right to read their bylaws and regulations. If you can't reach them by phone, I would suggest mailing a letter (perhaps a certified letter) to the HOA office.

There could be other rights that you have under your state or local laws, but you haven't said what jurisdiction you are in. The tag is not very helpful since real estate is usually regulated by state law, not federal, so every state can be different.

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  • The CCRs are deed restrictions which are filed with the State. If a person did not agree to them during the purchase someone did something really really wrong. – jqning Jan 4 '16 at 19:21

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