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Priority Lien - Rhode Island




Condominium Ownership

SECTION 34-36-20

§ 34-36-20 Common expenses – Payment. – (a) It shall be the duty of every unit owner to pay his or her proportionate share of the common expenses. Payment shall be in amounts and at such times as determined by the management committee in accordance with the terms of the declaration or the bylaws.

(b) The amount of common expenses assessed against each unit shall be a debt of the owner at the time the assessment is made and shall be collectible as such. Suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid common expenses shall be maintainable without foreclosing or waiving the lien securing the same. If any unit owner shall fail or refuse to make any payment of the common expenses when due, the amount thereof shall constitute a lien on the interest of the owner in the property, and upon the recording of notice thereof by the manager or management committee shall be a lien upon the unit owner's interest in the property prior to all other liens and encumbrances, recorded or unrecorded, except only:

(1) Tax and special assessment liens on the unit in favor of any assessing unit, and special district, and

(2) Encumbrances on the interest of the unit owner recorded prior to the date the notice is recorded which by law would be a lien prior to subsequently recorded encumbrances.

(c) The manager or management committee shall, upon the written request of any unit owner or any encumbrancer or prospective encumbrancer of a unit, upon payment of a reasonable fee not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00), issue to a person so requesting a written statement setting forth the unpaid common expenses with respect to the unit covered by the request, which shall be conclusive upon the remaining unit owners and upon the manager and management committee in favor of all persons who rely thereon in good faith. Unless the request for a statement of indebtedness shall be complied with within ten (10) days, all unpaid common expenses which became due prior to the date of the making of the request shall be subordinate to the lien held by the person requesting the statement. Any encumbrancer holding a lien on a unit may pay any unpaid common expenses payable with respect to the unit and upon the payment the encumbrancer shall have a lien on such unit for the amounts paid of the same rank as the lien of his or her encumbrance.

(d) The lien for nonpayment of common expenses may be enforced by sale or foreclosure of the unit owner's interest by the manager or management committee, the sale or foreclosure to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to the exercise of powers of sale or foreclosure in deeds of trust or mortgages or in any manner permitted by law. In any foreclosure or sale, the unit owner shall be required to pay the costs and expenses of the proceedings and reasonable attorney's fees. If so provided in the declaration or bylaws, in the case of foreclosure, the owner shall be required to pay a reasonable rental for the unit, and the plaintiff in the foreclosure action shall be entitled to the appointment of a receiver to collect the rental without regard to the value of the mortgage security.

(e) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration, the manager or management committee shall have power to bid in the unit at foreclosure or other sale and to hold, lease, mortgage, and convey the unit. 

History of Section.
(P.L. 1963, ch. 181, § 1.)