How to fight your homeowners association
There's nothing fun about a conflict with your homeowners group. Here are some expert tips for keeping the fight fair.
Once you find yourself in a conflict with your homeowners association, here are a few tips to get the resolution you want, according to lawyers and activists.
1. Know your rights. If you know your governing documents and are generally familiar with state laws that apply you will have the advantage.
2. Mind your manners. Association board members are volunteers and will respond better to a member that isn't engaged in name-calling or other disrespectful behavior.
3. Be patient. Like any bureaucracy, things move slowly in the association world.
4. Be creative. Rather than argue against the application of a rule to you, argue for a change in the rule to the benefit of the community.
5. Watch for discrimination. Even if the board is complying with the governing documents and state laws, determine if their actions can be viewed as arbitrary and capricious; that is, they have cited you for a violation while other homeowners go without being citied. That must be documented if you are going to sue in court.
6. Pay your fines. Do not ignore any fines because they will continue, and it will be very costly if you are sued by your association. You can lose your house.
7. Get organized. Remember, you are under a binding contract once you buy into an association. Document everything and get everything the association says in writing.
8. Consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation.
9. If all efforts fail, seek out a lawyer in your area familiar with homeowner-association disputes and local and state laws. Consider filing a lawsuit.
HOAs are not God and they need to have a set of rules and regulations that they adhere to. We now have to shovel our sidewalks and buy de-ice for the sidewalks. What am I paying 200 a month for? They don't clear of sidewalks, we trip and fall, we hurt ourselves, and they don't have to help us. I ask you, is that right and fair?
I am a homeowner, who happens to live next door to a woman who spend her life looking at our Homeowner Encyclopedia. She then tortures our neighbors by reporting them for every little thing she can. I am now her recent victim. I have 3 dogs and our association only allows two. I have done extensive research and found that California, and more specifically Vallejo allows up to four dogs per household. I am set to go to a hearing on the 30th so that they can inform me that I have to get rid of one of my dogs, all of whom we consider as family.
The woman who reported me now has her sniveling husband as President of the Board so that she can control them too.
I am dreading it and even thought about hiring a lawyer. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. I know the next time I buy a property I will not be buying one that is part of a HOA. I really hate the process.
Not to mention they still owe me over $600 for a water leak that the HOA landscapers caused over 2 years ago.
HOAs are Orwellian nightmares. Their meetings are not subject to Open Meeting Laws, their elections not subject to Election Laws, their ballots not subject to any Chain of Custody...
They are like carnival con games, and they keep asking us to play!
NO ONE GOES to these rigged meetings or participates in their rigged elections....and the "industry of service providers" calls this "Homeowner Apathy".
I am suing my HOA in Massachusetts and will strip it of its power to fine. I am an American citizen and will not help this pathetic private governement spit in our faces or on the Constitution.
A recent case in Virginia bankrupted the HOA with legal fees....Hurray!
Far from "preserving our property values"...HOAs are the BIGGEST threat to your interest in property bar none!
Research your States laws for the minimum number required for the quorum. If you can get enough people who are not satisfied your HOA you bust quorum by not attending the meetings so nothing can get done.
I bought and made sure ahead of time that I did not have an HOA to deal with.
our lawn care shoveling the parking lot and utility fee is $2240. per year for $18k valued units. therefore our total expenses before a mortgage for all our assessment and taxes are $8K. In two years, you will be out and dont have to worry about the property anymore. the government is not helping dispite the fact that they are in charge by statute to make sure the board puts out a budget that discloses something--- it is a big joke. if we sue- we sue ourselves. can anyone give advice. many homeowners feel that the board is embezzling. i don't have all the facts yet but i know they are not following our by-laws or the law.
When a Georgia homeowner owes outstanding homeowners association fees and the association lawyer proposes a payment arrangement - consent order - that is unaffordable for the homeowner, what advise would you give to the homeowner? Is it best to go forward with the lawsuit (brought by the association) with the hopes that the homeowner will get a better settlement through mediation?
I WOULD SUGGEST CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL STATE BAR ASSOCIATION TO SEE IF THEY CAN ADVISE YOU, AS FAR AS THE BANK IS CONCERNED I BELIEVE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO HOLD ALL TRANSACTIONS FOR 2-3 YEARS EVEN WHEN ONE BANK TAKES OVER ANOTHER. ON THIS I WOULD CONTACT YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND TALK TO A BUSINESS LAWYER, OR DO YOU BELONG TO AARP, THEY SOMETIMES CAN AID YOU GREATLY.
Most communities already have laws governing how a property is kept. HOA's are merely
money makers for attorneys. I say don't buy into a neighborhood that is represented by and
HOA. You'll save yourself a lot of headache and eventually we'll be rid of them. Make sure you
do your research before buying, especially in a plat that is still under development. Also
make sure your realtor discloses the fact that you are looking in a HOA neighborhood and
gives you a copy of the HOA rules before you make your decision.
I live in a small over 55 26 unit community. In order for the developer to build in this elite neighborhood he had to provide 6 low income units. When my Mother passed I received a small inheritance. I put it all into tile, granite tops etc etc etc. Now I can never sell my unit for any thing higher than the price I paid. The developer went bankrupt and now 5 years later we are stuck paying assessments for new roof and windows. I'm on SS Disability and could not put my inheritance in the bank as SS would stop my check until the money was gone. I can't afford to chip in more than my budget allows. I am 100% disabled and in absolutely no position to fund anything. Especially when all the work should have been under warrantee.
Being in a low income unit has brought myself and other 40B people into a discriminatory community where we cannot take them to a court for said discrimination as it isn't in the laws. Again I can't sell and lose $50,000.00. And the resentment even though I own the smallest unit is threatening. They throw these figures at us with no real estimates. They want to build up the emergency fund from $30,000.00 to $100,000.00 in 5 years. My personal opinions; they wish we would sell after the input we have been given determining these numbers. The other units knew ahead of time this was a Low Income shared community. Anyone have any advice. I can't afford an attorney to even disprove what they say I owe in back condo fees. The tab as you have said goes up in interest and fees regularly. I tried to get the canceled checks from my old bank but it is a different bank due to a buyout. ?????????? Anybody.
I don't see any improvement in my nighborhood at
all. I have read thay manual they sent me and omg, so many violations going on such cars has been in the parking lot fow atleast 4 montjs, undrivable. What do they do with 18.00 dollars amonth?,
come up with some **** to charhe us?