The HOA Condo Dues
A condominium complex is a property belonging to several people identified as condominium owners. In a condominium, some areas belong to each owner -private- and some are common property or areas. Condominium property and life are governed by the Condominium Property Regulatory Law N 7933.
Common areas or property are those indicated in Article 10 of Law N 7933:
“a) The land on which the building sits, in the case of vertical constructions, which results in two or more buildings, subsidiaries properties resting on the same ground, or when, because it is so required, the land must be considered common.
- b) The foundations, master walls, roofs, galleries, vestibules, and stairways, as well as access, exit, and internal displacement routes, when they must be considered as such due to the type of construction or development.
- c) Premises for housing personnel in charge of the administration or security of the condominium.
- d) Premises and installations of central services such as electricity, lighting, telephony, gas, water, refrigeration, tanks, water pumps, wells, and others.
- e) Elevators, waste incinerators, and, in general, all devices and installations intended for the common benefit.
- f) Others expressly indicated in the regulations.”
Private areas or property are those indicated in Article 7 of Law No. 7933:
“Each subsidiary property constitutes an autonomous portion and must be conditioned for independent use and enjoyment, communicated directly with the public road or with a certain common space leading to it.”
The HOA dues, approved yearly in the annual HOA meeting, must be paid by all condo owners as established in Article 13 of Law No. 7933, which states:
“The owners shall be obligated to pay the expenses of administration, conservation, and operation of the common services and property. The waiver, express or implicit, of the use and enjoyment of the common areas shall not relieve the condominium owner of his obligations as to the conservation, reconstruction of such property or the payment of maintenance fees, nor any obligation arising from the regime.”
The HOA administrator must collect the HOA dues per Article 30 of Law No. 7933:
“The administration shall be responsible for the care and surveillance of the common goods and services, the care and operation of the facilities and general services, all acts of administration and conservation of the condominium, and the execution of the resolutions of the Condominium Owners’ Assembly. It shall collect the corresponding dues from each owner for the common expenses. It shall ensure compliance with the provisions of this law and the regulations; it shall also have the other powers and obligations established by the law and the regulations. Said dues will be used to maintain the infrastructure in good condition and the proper functioning of the condominium project, whether for sidewalk repairs, replacement of exterior lighting, green areas, payment of insurance, personnel, cleaning, gardening, among others.”
The non-payment, according to Article 20 to Law No. 7933, generates consequences for the condo owners: “The dues corresponding to the common expenses owed by the owners, as well as the fines and interest they generate, shall constitute a mortgage lien on the subsidiary property, only preceded by the lien referring to the real estate tax. A certified public accountant shall issue the certification of the amounts owed by the owners for these concepts; this certification shall constitute a mortgage executory title.”
Suppose a condo owner is not up to date. In that case, the HOA administrator may proceed with the judicial collection and auction the property to collect the amount owed since the administration must collect the condominium due based on number 30 of Law 7933, for which they may even take legal action if there is reluctance to pay or non-compliance.
“The administration will be responsible for the care and surveillance of the common goods and services, the care and operation of the facilities and general services, all acts of administration and conservation of the condominium, and the execution of the resolutions of the Condominium Owners’ Assembly. It shall collect the corresponding dues from each owner for the common expenses. It shall ensure compliance with the provisions of this law and the regulations; it shall also have the other powers and obligations established by law and the regulations.“
In Costa Rica, a delinquent condo owner can only be prevented from voting at the HOA meeting if the CC&Rs or condo regulations of the HOA complex expressly indicate and regulate it.