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Tips for handling a homeowners association dispute

| Jan 4, 2021 | Real Estate

Homeowners associations (HOAs) govern some communities with the intention of maintaining the community’s standards and retaining the value of all homes in the area. Therefore, theoretically, HOAs are beneficial for all homeowners within the association. While HOAs have certain obvious benefits, they can also pose a set of significant challenges, especially to those who want to make changes to their home.

If you have rented out your home, made home improvements, or taken another action that has alerted the attention of your HOA, you may have become involved in a dispute. You may not have been aware of the rules that you needed to adhere to, or you may believe that the action you took was within your rights and by no means a violation of the HOA rules. Getting involved in a dispute with your HOA can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive. The following is an overview of some tips for amicably settling a dispute with your HOA in an efficient way.

Start by understanding the internal process

The HOA will have a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). This is one of the best places to look when you are unsure of whether you have unintentionally violated a rule. There may also be in place guidelines, bylaws and additional rules that you need to look into. You may be able to find the answers you need in these documents, but if you still believe that you are within your rights but the HOA is contesting this, you’ll need to consider further action.

Alternative dispute resolution

If the internal process does not resolve a dispute, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may be effective. This may make it possible for you to avoid the courtroom by engaging in negotiation, meditation or arbitration.

If you are currently involved in a dispute with your HOA, it is important that you take swift action to understand your rights and to resolve the dispute as efficiently as possible.