When you live in a community that is governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA), you must adhere to specific rules and guidelines. Because of this, disputes between the HOA and residents who own property can often arise. While a property developer usually sets up the HOA and its rules, residents have the power to join the HOA and amend the rules, depending on the procedures contained in the community’s by laws. In this blog, we explain how to deal with HOA disputes and disagreements.
Review All HOA Rules
HOA community rules and guidelines for homeowners are usually contained in a document called the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). People who buy a home in a HOA community are generally given a copy of rules to review before the sale is finalized, this way they know what they're getting into.
CC&Rs do more than just prohibit bad behavior. They are meant to ensure that the condition, value, and uniformity of the properties is maintained within the association. CC&Rs might regulate things like whether homeowners can build fences or laundry lines, where they can hang flags, what their obligations for lawn-mowing and removing snow are, what types of pets are allowed, and much more.
If you plan to challenge an HOA decision against you, you should first review the entire CC&R to see if your actions are allowable under the guidelines set forth in the document.
Try to Reach a Compromise With the HOA
If you notify your HOA about an issue you are having with its rules or with another homeowner, the HOA is usually obligated to arrange for mediation or arbitration. You might be able to work out a compromise or initiate an amendment to the rules during the mediation process.
Speak With an Attorney
If you are having a major dispute with your HOA that can’t be resolved with a compromise, you should take legal action. Consult with a lawyer who is familiar with real estate law to see what legal options are available to you.
Do you need help with a HOA dispute? Contact our Tulsa real estate lawyer to schedule an appointment today.