If you have been cited, fined, want to sue your homeowners' association or your homeowners' association has filed a lawsuit against you, then you should contact a HOA attorney. While it is unpleasant to be in a dispute with your association, it is quite common. The attorney is knowledgeable about HOA dispute matters and state laws. The attorney can advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities and represent you in negotiations with your HOA or defend you in court.
Common Disputes Against HOA’s
The following are matters that can result in disputes against HOA’s for not taking care of obligations regarding:
- Changes to HOA rules and regulations
- Open area spaces and blocking views
- Landscape issues
- Failure to maintain common areas
- Breach of agreements with neighbors
- Property encroachments of decks, fences, trees or room additions
- Noise and disturbances; barking dogs, loud music, etc.
Enforcement of association governing documents
Common Disputes by HOA’s against Homeowners
The following are common HOA disputes that occur between HOA’s and homeowners:
- Failing to pay HOA dues or assessments on time
- Not maintaining your home in accordance with the
- Parking in authorized areas
- Violating use and zoning ordinances
- Ban on certain types, sizes, and number of pets
Being a member of a homeowners' association isn’t for everybody. So before you buy a property in a planned community, you should read their CC&R’s, and find out if there are any lawsuits between homeowners and the association. If there are, you should investigate how many and the nature to determine if you really want to live in that community.
How Association’s Work?
The association is a governing body that runs your planned community or condominium building. They association has a board of directors. Residents are elected to serve in positions such as President, Secretary and Chief Financial Offer or Treasurer. The association’s bylaws and CC&R’s set forth the rules and regulations. The association documents must comply with state and local laws. The association receives funds from the homeowners in the form of dues, fines, penalties, interest and assessments. Some associations are stricter in enforcing rules and regulations than others. Associations conduct meetings, vote on matters and have the responsibility of maintaining the common area grounds and amenities. Generally, before your association can fine you, you are given an opportunity to defend yourself in a hearing or meeting. Although some homeowners associations have been known to file a lawsuit without giving notice to the homeowner accused of violations.
Complaints About Associations
People who live in communities governed by associations frequently complain about the fact that the board of directors do not follow through on comments and complaints made by the homeowners that they represent. Other big complaints are mismanagement of HOA funds and lack of enforcement of common area rules and regulations. By hiring an HOA lawyer, you have the ability to fight back against injustice and unfair treatment. Your attorney can also keep you informed of changes in the laws and give you advice on how to handle matters as they come up. HOA’s have responsibilities to maintain the common areas of your community and make repairs, but they don’t have the rights to infringe on your freedom and personal life.
Hire an Attorney
If you are involved in a dispute with your HOA, you should hire an HOA attorney to assist you. HOA matters can become heated and emotional, so it is best to have an experienced attorney handle the negotiations and resolve the dispute for you. The attorney is an expert in HOA and state laws, and can explain them to you and advise of your legal rights and remedies.