A private charge or assessment is the right of a party to place a lien against land in order to recoup expenses attributable to that land. Having established of record the right to lien the charge or assessment, any later lienor not otherwise excepted from liability for such charge or assessment will find itself subject to that lien.
Private Charges / Assessments
Most often, the private charge or assessment is located in a declaration establishing a common interest community, but they can appear elsewhere of record. The charge or assessment commonly relates to such things as utility payments made on behalf of the property owner, or maintenance and upkeep charges, monthly or annual association assessments, and the like. In many cases, the lien for the private charge or assessment self-subordinates itself to any first lien mortgage, and some state laws mandate the subordination.
Private charges and assessments are a greater concern in circumstances where they do not self-subordinate, or where state law extends them a superpriority status, with the result being that in the absence of the landowner doing so, any subsequent lienholder will have to pay the charge or assessment in order to preserve its lien interest.