QUESTION: Rltr. John, I am a president of a Subdivision Homeowners Association. To force the members to pay their dues, is it okay if we have them sign an agreement that we will padlock their water if they will not pay their dues. Their water is individually connected directly to the water company. ANSWER: No! That’s terrorism (LOL)! I mean, it is not okay. It is unfair. That is deprivation of human rights to access the basic necessity -- WATER. You can only do that if the Homeowners Association (HA) is the retailer of water in between the water company and the members. In your case, you said that the members are directly connected to the water company, so it is unfair to disconnect the water utility of the member because it is already tantamount to interfering with the member’s direct contract with the water company. To encourage timely payment of dues, I would suggest managing the operation of the HA well and make them feel that your services are worth their dues. Extend some effort to make sure that your dues-collection system is convenient, security is reliable, garbage collection schedule is well coordinated, and the common areas are well maintained. It is also best to explore and discover the best practices of other HAs.
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