(a) Any sum assessed by the association of unit owners for the share of the common expenses chargeable to any unit, and remaining unpaid for a period of 30 days or longer, shall constitute a lien on such unit when filed of record in the office of the clerk of superior court of the county in which the property is located in the manner provided therefor by Article 8 of Chapter 44 of the General Statutes. Upon the same being duly filed, such lien shall be prior to all other liens except the following:
(1) Assessments, liens and charges for real estate taxes due and unpaid on the unit;
(2) All sums unpaid on deeds of trust, mortgages and other encumbrances duly of record against the unit prior to the docketing of the aforesaid lien.
(3) Materialmen's and mechanics' liens.
(b) Provided the same is duly filed in accordance with the provisions contained in subsection (a) of this section, a lien created by nonpayment of a unit owner's pro rata share of the common expenses may be foreclosed by suit by the manager or board of directors, acting on behalf of the unit owners, in like manner as a deed of trust or mortgage of real property. In any such foreclosure the unit owner shall be required to pay a reasonable rental for the unit, if so provided in the bylaws, and the plaintiff in such foreclosure shall be entitled to the appointment of a receiver to collect the same. The manager or board of directors, acting on behalf of the unit owners shall have power, unless prohibited by the declaration, to bid in the unit at foreclosure sale, and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage and convey the same. A suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid common expenses shall be maintainable without foreclosing or waiving the lien securing the same.
(c) Where the mortgagee of a first mortgage of record or other purchaser of a unit obtains title to the unit as a result of foreclosure of the first mortgage, such purchaser, his successors and assigns, shall not be liable for the share of the common expenses or assessments by the association of unit owners chargeable to such unit which became due prior to the acquisition of title to such unit by such purchaser. Such unpaid share of common expenses or assessments shall be deemed to be common expenses collectible from all of the unit owners including such purchaser, his successors and assigns. (1963, c. 685, s. 22.)