Planned Community Associations Are Not Permitted to Instigate a Sheriff’s Sale of a Unit for Failure to Pay Assessments

November 2006Newsletters In The Zone

As seen in the In The Zone newsletter, November 2006.

In recent case law handed down by the Pennsylvania Superior Court on July 14, 2006 in the matter of Forest Highlands Community Ass’n v. Hammer, 903 A.2d 1236 (Pa. Super. 2006), the Court confirmed that once assessments against a unit owner become due, the planned community association has a valid lien against the unit, which lien is already perfected by virtue of the recorded Declaration. In order to enforce payment of the assessment, the association must file a complaint for mortgage foreclosure or file an action in debt or contract in order to provide the unit owner with notice of the debt and/or a means to deny liability. It is improper for the association to instigate a sheriff’s sale of the unit.