How to Deal with a Difficult Homeowners Association
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In many cases, people who enter into an agreement with a homeowner association end up regretting the decision, due to the growing number of Homeowners Associations that become out of control with the added regulations to the contracts. These addendums often further the HOA’s hold on your property and grant the HOA more authority over your property than you have. If you’ve signed a contract with one of these organizations, you may have options but they will be limited.
Your HOA Contract
When you signed the contract with your HOA you entered into an agreement that cannot be tampered with, even by the State Attorney General. This contract is a binding legal agreement, protected by the United States Constitution, and is binding even if the HOA contract infringes on your constitutional rights.
Often times, bringing your issues straight to the board members of your HOA will result in the association either telling you to live by the contract you signed or move out. You can, however, attempt to use any democratic process at your disposal to have the board of directors removed from their positions. If you are unable to convince the board to change or to get a new board elected, your options become even more limited. You did, after all, sign a contract.
Possible Methods of Overturning Decisions made by your HOA
First, you should know that you, like many others, probably didn’t realize the full range of power the HOA was given over your property at the contract signing. Typically, the grievances filed against an HOA are simply from homeowners who are angered over the HOA exercising its own contractual legal rights. The only time a homeowner has a valid argument against their HOA is when the association exercises its power in a vindictive manner or to fulfill personal desires. At that point, cause for a legitimate grievance can be filed against the HOA.
- For example, you will need to be able to prove an ongoing list of repeated or patterned behaviors reflecting a deceptive nature to the HOA marketing practices.
- To do this, you could show deceptive practices by the board of directors to hide fees and charges until a contract has been signed.
Another option is to take your gathered information to any public forum you can, exposing any unfair practice used by the board of directors in your HOA, including any retribution they inflict on you for bringing their issues to light. This tactic, when exerted properly, can force an unruly board of directors to scale back their unruly behavior.
If you believe your HOA is violating your rights or the terms of the contract, you may wish to contact an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can assist you in dealing with contract problems or can otherwise help you find solutions to dealing with a difficult homeowners association.