HOA Disputes: When to Hire a Lawyer

If you find yourself facing a citation, fine, or a lawsuit from your homeowners’ association (HOA), it’s crucial to seek the guidance of an HOA attorney. Engaging in a dispute with your association may be unpleasant, but it’s a common occurrence. An attorney well-versed in HOA matters and state laws can provide you with valuable advice on your legal rights and responsibilities, represent you in negotiations with your HOA, or even defend you in court.

Common HOA Disputes

Disputes with HOAs often arise due to their failure to fulfill their obligations in various areas, such as:

  • Changes to HOA rules and regulations
  • Neglect of open areas, obstructing views
  • Negligence in maintaining common areas
  • Breach of agreements with neighbors
  • Property encroachments, like decks, fences, trees, or room additions
  • Noise disturbances, such as barking dogs or loud music
  • Enforcement of association governing documents

Common HOA Disputes Against Homeowners

Conversely, HOAs may also initiate disputes with homeowners over the following issues:

  • Failure to pay HOA dues or assessments promptly
  • Noncompliance with regulations regarding home maintenance
  • Unauthorized parking
  • Violation of use and zoning ordinances
  • Restrictions on pet ownership, including species, size, and number

Assessing Your HOA Community

Considering joining a homeowners’ association? Before purchasing a property within a planned community, it’s wise to thoroughly review the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Additionally, investigate whether any lawsuits exist between homeowners and the association. Evaluating the number and nature of these lawsuits will help you decide if the community aligns with your preferences.

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Understanding the Role of an HOA

The association serves as the governing body responsible for managing your planned community or condominium building. Its board of directors, comprising elected residents, assumes positions such as President, Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, or Treasurer. The association’s bylaws and CC&Rs establish the rules and regulations that must comply with state and local laws. Homeowners contribute funds in the form of dues, fines, penalties, interest, and assessments. Enforcement of rules and regulations may vary between associations. Additionally, associations convene meetings, vote on matters, and hold the responsibility of maintaining the common areas and amenities. Generally, before an association can fine a homeowner, an opportunity for a hearing or meeting is provided. However, some associations have been known to file lawsuits without prior notice to accused homeowners.

Common Association Complaints

Living in a community managed by an association often leads to grievances. Homeowners frequently voice concerns regarding the board of directors’ insufficient action on their comments and complaints. Mismanagement of HOA funds and lack of enforcement of common area rules and regulations are also significant sources of discontent. By retaining an HOA lawyer, you gain the means to address injustice and unfair treatment. Your attorney can keep you informed of legislative changes, offer guidance on handling disputes, and ensure your freedom and personal life are not infringed upon. While HOAs have the responsibility to maintain the common areas and carry out repairs, they do not possess the rights to impede your personal life.

Why Hire an HOA Attorney?

If you find yourself embroiled in an HOA dispute, it is prudent to engage the services of an experienced HOA attorney. Given the potential heated and emotional nature of these matters, having a seasoned professional represent your interests is essential. A proficient attorney well-versed in HOA and state laws can explain the intricacies to you, advise you on your legal rights and available remedies, and skillfully navigate negotiations to reach a resolution.

See also  Civil Litigation Attorneys

To learn more about HOA disputes and how Garrity Traina can assist you, visit Garrity Traina.