Do Fire Victims in HOAs Have to Continue to Pay Assessments When Homes are Lost?

I am so sorry to hear of the fires in California. For a time it looked like the disastrous events  of Biblical proportions were destined to happen elsewhere in the country. It has been an incredibly difficult 6-8 months for so many Americans.  And now, the fires in California. One of the very large and raging ones currently burning out of control is moving closer and closer to where I live and work. The residents of my home town (Benicia) are getting emergency recorded messages on our phones every few days warning to be watchful because the fires are close, and to be prepared for further instructions. Warnings are to be ready to go if evacuation is suggested or ordered.

 

One of the questions that came to me just yesterday was this: “Some of the homes in our HOA have been burned to the ground. The owners are asking if they need to keep paying assessments.”

 

My response was yes. The assessments are needed to pay the bills. The HOA still has to operate and perhaps costs of the HOA might even increase in dealing with these difficult situations. The homes are still part of the association. Owners still have to make mortgage payments. Everyone should be insured, whether they hold a mortgage or not, for fire and other casualties. Everyone should have individual coverage even when the HOA holds a master policy for fire. Individual policies can fill gaps like paying relocation expenses, and finishing units rebuilt to the walls by HOA coverage, replacing appliances, upgrades, personal belongings, lost rents, and special assessments if imposed by the Association.

 

We never think it will happen to us, do we? But it does.

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