What to do if you have a dispute with your homeowner association

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Real Estate Law

Peaceful residents often have to live by a set of neighborhood rules. Homeowner associations are in charge of enforcing these seemingly arbitrary edicts. The moment board members suspect you are responsible for a violation, a fine heads your way.

You might take issue with receiving one of these penalties. Before turning your difference of opinion into a lawsuit, explore the following actions.

Review the governing document

Some HOA guidelines originate with the property developer. Later, the governing entity disappears. Community residents step in to fill the void. Sometimes, there is disagreement with existing regulations. Board members may change them by taking a vote. Make sure you have the latest copy of the community specifications.

Protest unjust or misapplied rules

Your conflict may derive from unclear wording. You might feel your actions are reasonable and should not constitute an infraction. Request a hearing during which you may articulate your position. If your argument does not convince the individuals in power, try asking for an exception. Being friendly and asking for forgiveness can yield positive results. The flip side is that nastiness escalates and becomes an uncomfortable situation.

Pursue compromise

Instead of filing litigation, try resolving the issue through arbitration or mediation. In general, this is a quicker and less expensive pathway toward mutual understanding. Another possibility is simply caving. Getting bogged down in a courtroom entanglement is emotionally exhausting and financially draining.

Homeowner associations are often sticklers, but some conflicts are resolvable without litigation. Whenever possible, avoid courtroom drama by independently seeking a solution.