You’ve found the perfect home, but you discover it is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), and you need to pay a monthly fee. You may be wondering what is a Homeowners’ Association and when would you ever need a lawyer? Let’s discuss.
An HOA is an organization that manages a residential community. The HOA is typically responsible for maintaining common areas and enforcing the rules, also known as a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs are typically put in place by the original developer to ensure quality of life for the residents and to preserve property values. Once the development is complete, the HOA is typically turned over to the residents and is run by a board of directors, which consists of elected members of the community.
The CC&Rs can place restrictions on such things as general exterior condition of the properties in the community, including paint color, as well as fencing and landscaping type and color. The CC&Rs may also govern how properties can be used and even noise control. The CC&Rs must be followed by each homeowner in the community. If a homeowner does not follow the rules, they may be charged penalties and fees, or even find themselves in litigation.
You find a house that you want to purchase, and it is in a community with an HOA, you will be required to become a member of the HOA and pay monthly fees. If you find that you’re having a problem with any of the rules or another homeowner in the HOA, the first step is to contact your Homeowners Association. Most times these issues can be resolved within the association. Other times, depending on the dispute, an attorney may need to be involved. Since an HOA is a legal entity, the association and the CC&R’s can be brought into a lawsuit, when necessary, to protect your rights.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need an attorney to address issues with an HOA or on behalf of the HOA itself, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Sher & Associates, we have attorneys on staff who have the experience needed to handle the myriad of conflicts that can arise when an HOA is part of a community.