57-8-44. Lien in favor of association of unit owners for assessments and costs of collection

(1) (a)  Except as  provided in Section 57-8-13.1, an association of unit owners has a lienfn1 on a unit for:
            (i) an assessment;
            (ii) except as provided in the declaration, fees, charges, and costs associated with collecting an unpaid assessment, including:
                  (A) court costs and reasonable attorney fees;
                  (B) late charges;
                  (C) interest; and
                  (D) any other amount that the association of unit owners is entitled to recover under the declaration, this chapter, or an administrative or judicial decision; and
            (iii) a fine that the association of unit owners imposes against a unit owner in accordance with Section 57-8-37, if:
                  (A) the time for appealfn2 described in Subsection 57-8-37(5) has expired and the unit owner did not file an appeal; or
                  (B) the unit owner timely filed an appeal under Subsection 57-8-37(5) and the district court issued a final order upholding a fine imposed under Subsection 57-8-37(1).
      (b) The recording of a declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of a lien described in Subsection (1)(a).

(2) If an assessment is payable in installments, a lien described in Subsection (1)(a)(i) is for the full amount of the assessment from the time the first installment is due, unless the association of unit owners otherwise provides in a notice of assessment.

(3) An unpaid assessment or fine accrues interest at the rate provided:
      (a) in Subsection 15-1-1(2); or
      (b) in the governing documents, if the governing documents provide for a different interest rate.

(4) A lien under this section has priority over each other lien and encumbrance on a unit except:
      (a) a lien or encumbrance recorded before the declaration is recorded;
      (b) a first or second security interest on the unit secured by a mortgage or deed of trust that is recorded before a recorded notice of lien by or on behalf of the association of unit owners; or
      (c) a lien for real estate taxes or other governmental assessments or charges against the unit.

(5) A lien under this section is not subject to Title 78B, Chapter 5, Part 5, Utah Exemptions Act.

(6) Unless the declaration provides otherwise, if two or more associations of unit owners have liens for assessments on the same unit, the liens have equal priority, regardless of when the liens are created.

Enacted 2011, ch. 355.  Amended: 2013, ch. 95, eff. May 14, 2013;  2014, ch. 116, eff. May 13, 2014. 


FN 1. A condo association lien is created by statute and thus, even if the lien is ultimately proven unenforceable or in error, it is never a wrongful lien under Utah's Wrongful Lien Act.  See Hutter v. Dig-It, Inc., 2009 UT 69, 219 P.3d 918 at 931.

FN 2.  The Time for Appeal of a Fine.

  • The "time for appeal" if the owner does not timely request a hearing is 180 days after the day on which the time to request an informal hearing expires, which is 30 days after the day the owner receives notice that the fine is assessed.  Thus, because written notice by an association to its members is effective when mailed if addressed to the member's address shown in its current records, the time for appeal is 210 days after the day that the association mails notice to the owner that the fine is assessed.  (See footnote 1 to Section 57-8-37 and 57-8a-208).
  • The "time for appeal" if the owner does timely request a hearing is 180 days after the day the owner receives a final decision from the management committee.  Thus, the time for appeal is 180 days after the day the management committee mails notice to the owner of its final decision (or 180 days after the hearing if the management committee gave the owner its final decision at the hearing). 

See Section 57-8-37(5) for condos and 57-8a-208(5) for community associations (noncondo HOAs).

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