If a condominium corporation is seeking to recover a “back charge” from a unit owner, it is important to remember that the three month rule for common expense liens applies. The failure to follow the lien procedures in the Act may result in the corporation being unable to recover the amounts owing. Boards should instruct Property Managers to ensure that they follow lien procedures when recovering back charges. We suggest that to be safe, the three month period should commence from the day on which the payment is to be made.
When collecting back charges always include a date by which payment should be made.
The circumstances may not always fit neatly into this formula. If costs are incurred over a period of time, we suggest you demand payment after the first costs are incurred. If the monies are not paid, register the lien within three months of the date on which payment was supposed to be delivered. Remember once a lien is registered, any additional costs are captured by it. If in doubt, contact the corporation’s solicitor for guidance.