Westward360 Holiday Schedule: Please note Westward360's offices will be closed Friday, December 22nd and will reopen Tuesday, December 26th. We will also be closing at 2pm on Friday, December 29th, and reopening on Tuesday, January 2nd.

westward logo

What if an Association Member Isn’t Paying Their Dues?

a women wearing a grey turtle neck, looking at her phone and writing on a piece of paper with a calculator in front of her.

Send reminders

Don’t forget to send due reminders to all association members. You can streamline this process by scheduling emails or letters within a reasonable period before the deadline. Be sure to document these reminders so that you are protected if association members decide to dispute a collection. You can produce this record of correspondence to negate their claim, should this situation arise.

Grace period

Average grace periods for association fees range from 3 to 15 days before experiencing consequences. However, we advise you to use discretion when attempting to reprimand or resolve late payments from members. Association leadership has the power to show grace to individuals, within reason. However, if you absolve one association member of their dues, others might say, “They got away with it, so I won’t pay either.” Keep this in mind when attempting to resolve disputes. 

Late fees

Late fees are a great way to encourage timely payments. Consequences provide incentive for association members to follow the rules and pay their dues. When deciding what your late fee amount should be, it should be enough to make members wince, but not enough to hinder their ability to make a payment.

Restrict access

If a member is behind on dues, you can further incentivise timely payment by revoking their right to use amenities. Losing access to pools, tennis courts, and fitness centers may give them the discomfort they need to return to good standing. 

File a lien

Most state laws allow the association to file a lien against the member for not paying their dues, as long as there is proper legal documentation. Filing a lien is much cheaper than trying to garnish wages. A garnishment suit can cost thousands of dollars, and part of those wages are protected from garnishment, anyway. 

Read More