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Community’s Golf Club Member Dues Are Mandatory

RE Q&A: Owner wants to stop paying the dues but continue to pay HOA fees. Will he be subject to a lien on his home or a possible foreclosure?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Question: I live in a community with mandatory golf club membership. I pay dues to my association and the club. If I stop paying the club but continue to pay the association, can they lien my home? If so, can I be foreclosed? – Bruce

Answer: Condominium and homeowners’ association communities with a club can be set up in different ways. The answer to your question will depend on the structure of your community.

You will need to review the declaration and association documents, including those for the club, to discover how yours is set up and what powers the association and club have.

Most community associations have the right to lien and even foreclose your home for certain infractions, such as not paying the assessments. Your documents may allow this remedy if you do not pay the association’s assessments, the club’s dues, or both.

Maybe the golf club is part of a master association whose rules cover your association and the club. If so, not paying the golf club dues can lead to foreclosure.

It is also possible the golf club is directly owned by your association, which means the nonpaying owners can be foreclosed.

You could be dealing with a long-term recreational lease, where the lessor can enforce the payment of dues through the association’s power to lien and foreclose.

There are also other, more creative but less common ways that developers have crafted to ensure a community’s facilities stay funded and operational.

When you review your community’s documents, you might discover that the club is independent and cannot lien your home if you stop paying. However, they can still deny your use of the club’s facilities.

The dues also might build up and come back to haunt you when you try to sell your home down the road.

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