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HOA Dispute Attorneys: Taking on Homeowners’ Associations

By Robert L. Froerer on March 02, 2018

A house by the scales of justiceThere are many facets to consider when it comes to real estate law. Homeowners, renters, and landlords all have unique legal protections and obligations in place, and our Ogden, UT attorneys can help address these issues as they arise. Our lawyers have years of experience handling various real estate law disputes, and mediating disagreements.

If you get into a dispute with your local homeowner’s association (HOA), you may have legal options to consider, and Froerer & Miles can help. Let’s consider the basics of these kinds of disputes and then offer insight into your legal options.

How HOAs Should Function Ideally

If you live in a planned community, condominium, or townhouse, an HOA can be an important part of maintaining the neighborhood and/or property with your neighbors. This governing body of the community helps set certain rules and codes of conduct for homeowners and tenants to abide by. This helps prevent bad behavior in the community and also ensures good property values for all residences in the neighborhood.

In an ideal situation, the HOA benefits everyone living in the area, and has reasonable rules for everyone to follow regarding landscaping, fences, outer decor, access to amenities, and so forth.

How Problems with HOAs May Arise

Unfortunately, not all HOAs work in an ideal manner. People running the HOA could be enacting certain rules for personal gain, or cliques may develop among the governing body and certain tenants. New HOA rules could be passed that place an undue and unreasonable burden on certain homeowners.

Essentially, the problems all stem from common issues with governing bodies: with more people involved, the greater the likelihood for disagreements and misdeeds.

Disputes by Homeowners Against HOAs

Some examples of disputes a homeowner may have against their HOA include:

  • Problems with landscaping that affect neighbors or neighborhood valuation
  • Issues with the appearance of a house that impacts the look of the home/neighborhood
  • Obscured views for tenants due to trees, structures, and so forth
  • Failure to maintain communal spaces (grills, green areas, pools, etc.)
  • Noise violations and other issues related to disturbances
  • Encroaching on other people’s property lines (e.g., new fences, decks)
  • Sudden changes of the rules without discussion

Disputes by HOAs Against Homeowners

Conversely, an HOA may have a dispute against an individual homeowner in the community who refuses to abide by the rules. Examples of this include:

  • Failure to pay dues to the HOA
  • Not maintaining one’s property
  • Parking in unauthorized areas of the neighborhood
  • Violating rules about pets
  • Disregard for the rules set out by the HOA

Strive for Compromise Whenever Possible

Before you seek legal help, try to discuss these issues with your HOA to develop a compromise of some kind. This is more common with minor issues and disputes, and in many cases the HOA or the homeowner will be amenable to compromise. If compromise is impossible or rejected, that is when you should contact a lawyer.

How an HOA Dispute Lawyer Can Help

An HOA dispute lawyer serves as an objective outside party evaluating the nature of the disagreement. The lawyer’s lack of interest as a homeowner allows for a clear perspective of the dispute from a purely legal perspective. An HOA lawyer can assess your situation and offer expert legal advice on your best options. Mediation and arbitration are possible with the help of an attorney.

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