How to Respond to HOA Letters
If you receive any HOA letters from your Homeowners Association, don’t ignore them. Associations send out various kinds of letters ranging from general information about upcoming meetings to citations, warnings, assessments and fines. You should read the letter or notice, and respond to it immediately in writing. Mail it certified mail, return receipt requested. This way if there are any disputes later on, you have proof that you responded to the issue. If you are objecting, state your reasons and attach any supporting documentation.
If repair work or corrections are required on your part, notify the association when the work is completed and invite them to re-inspect. It’s always a good idea to call your association, and let them know your intentions. Also, verify their mailing address. Some associations use management companies or attorneys to handle their demand requests. Follow-up until the matter is resolved, and you have confirmation in writing from your association. You may also want to consult with a HOA attorney.
Common HOA Demand Letters or Notices
The most common types of HOA demand letters or notices include the following:
- Delinquent dues and assessments asking for interest, fines and penalties
- HOA violations ranging from pet restrictions, parking, repairs, noise, use restrictions and nuisances
- Notice of a lien
- Foreclosure notice
- Notice of a Judgment
- Neighbor complaints
Disputes with HOA’s are very common. It’s one of the negatives about owning a property governed by an association. Some associations are stricter in enforcing their rules and regulations than others. While this can be a positive thing as far as maintaining the common areas and property values, sometimes associations carry things too far by intruding into homeowners personal lives. You should defend yourself and get your neighbor's support when there are issues that are affecting others in the community. If you don’t like the way things are being run, you might want to get elected to the Board so you can make positive changes.
Each state has different association laws. Your HOA bylaws and CC&R’s must comply with state laws. If you receive HOA demand letters or notices, you should read your association documents to find out whether you are in violation and what recourse you have against the association. Find out how long you have to respond to your HOA’s demands, dispute resolution alternatives such as mediation or arbitration and the amount of fines that are allowed under your state laws. Associations cannot fine you for amounts that are more than are allowed under your state laws. An HOA attorney can explain your state laws and advise you want to do.
Speak with an Attorney
If you are disputing a demand letter from your HOA, you should contact an HOA attorney. The attorney is an expert in HOA laws, and can advise you if your association has a valid claim against you, and what alternatives you have available. The attorney can negotiate with your association and represent and defend you in court.