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We are building a townhome in Utah. The original timeline was that it would be done last year but have had a number of delays. No surprise there, but starting late last year, we have been getting an HOA bill. Is it typical to pay HOA fees before your home is ready, when the delays are due to how the developer has managed some items?

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    What's in your contract? It may be typical to start getting HOA bills once certain amount of units in the HOA have been sold.
    – littleadv
    Apr 2 at 5:45
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    Have you closed on the property yet? Are you the owners?
    – Pete B.
    Apr 2 at 12:37
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    Typically, you do not pay HOA fees until you take title. Check your contract to see if this is legit or if it's a mistake. Apr 2 at 14:42
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    Tangentially, check your contract for agreements around completion deadlines and penalties. IANAL but the builder may be liable for these delays forcing you to incur real (and emotional) costs, such as fees for extending/renewing a lease, additional travel for school and work, etc.
    – brichins
    Apr 2 at 19:58

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Is it typical to pay HOA fees before your home is ready, when the delays are due to how the developer has managed some items?

The HOA documents will explain what the rates are for empty lots, and completed lots.

We are building a townhome in Utah.

This is interesting. If you were building a single family home, and the process was you buy a lot and then you make arrangements for a builder to complete the structure, then it is possible that you can be responsible for HOA fees once you took ownership of the lot. I could even see this if it was a duplex, and you would own both parts.

But you are getting a townhouse which implies more than a duplex. The builder typically isn't allowed by their lender to start construction until the majority of units in the row have been "sold". There can be a delay of months between the first person to put a deposit down and getting enough other deposits.

If you bought the lot first, then you would have already gone though an entire settlement process where you would have had your ownership recorded with the local government. If you have done this you also would have responsibility for paying the property tax on the land.

Is it typical to pay HOA fees before your home is ready, when the delays are due to how the developer has managed some items?

In my experience if the builder still owns the lot, then they are responsible for any HOA dues and taxes.

Check your records.

It is also possible that the HOA made a mistake, and they were given a list of soon to be owners, and jumped the gun regarding billing.

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