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Some HOA disputes can lead to legal action

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are organizations that manage the common properties and regulate what individual members can do with their properties. Many regard HOAs as a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, they oversee some of the unpleasant chores of running a community, but some do not take kindly when there are charges for services they don’t want or get cited for painting their home an unapproved color.

Types of legal disputes

Different types of disputes will arise even in some of the most well-run HOAs. Examples commonly seen include:

  • Citation for alleged violation of HOA covenant
  • Yard decorations deemed inappropriate by the HOA
  • Signs in yard advocating a political agenda or belief
  • Attempts to impose a rule not outlined in the HOA covenant
  • Inconsistent enforcement of rules
  • The accusation of HOA improperly managing funds collected through dues
  • Levying an assessment that is in addition to dues
  • Disputes involving HOA board members or others who are part of the association

Resolving these matters

The covenant may outline a type of mediation, arbitration or another alternative form of dispute resolution. Since these matters often involve neighbors in the association, members and the HOA board should pursue these avenues in good faith to seek an equitable solution before going to court. If there is litigation, the court may rule to obey laws in the covenant or instruct the HOA to refrain from an activity.