Q&A: Can't the Board Ease Up on Late Fees?

Q I ran into financial difficulty a while ago and I failed to pay my regular monthly condominium fees for two months. I subsequently paid these two months of regularmonthly condominium fees, but our association board levied late payment fees – so, the only outstanding charges on my account are late fees. The association board has threatened to bring a legal action against me to collect the modest outstanding amount on my account attributable solely to late fees. Can the association do so?

— Late in Massachusetts

A Unfortunately for you, late fees are considered “common expenses” under Massachusetts’ condominium statute and your governing board is well within their legal rights to collect these “common fees.”

More significantly, your unpaid late fees constitute a lien against your unit which is enforceable as regular monthly condominium fees under the statute. This means that, not only will you be liable for your unpaid late fees, but you will also be liable for the association’s attorneys’ fees and costs of collection if these late fees remain unpaid.

Finally, your association may even opt to initiate lien enforcement legal proceedings to foreclose upon your unit for these unpaid late fees. In short, even though the only outstanding charges on your account are attributable to late payment fees, the consequences of non-payment of these late fees are virtually identical to those as if you failed to pay your regular monthly fees.

— Joseph Saurino, Esq.

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Comments

  • We are allowed 2 pets, a cat & dog or 2 cats, all inside only.I have a cat & dog but need an emotional support animal and have requested this from the board with a letter from my dr.They approved it if I get rid of an existing pet.I have pets not a support animal. Is this legal that I would need to get rid of a "pet" for a "support animal?"