Homeowners Associations, most commonly known as HOAs, are governing bodies that regulate and maintain certain aspects of a neighborhood. From neighborhood pools to keeping entrances looking nice, the power of your HOA depends largely on the bylaws adopted when the HOA formed. As a California homeowner, you may want to familiarize yourself with how your HOA works.
When you know what your HOA can and cannot do, it is much easier to avoid disputes with this group. This knowledge also empowers you to be aware if the HOA oversteps its bounds, violates your property rights or infringes upon your ability to properly use and enjoy your home and land.
What does your HOA do?
Your HOA may and may not regulate a variety of things. Most of these things pertain to the overall appearance of the neighborhood, maintenance of common areas and more. While their authority and responsibilities may differ, HOAs commonly regulate the following:
- Shrubs, hedges and landscaping
- Shingles, exterior paint colors, appearance of the home
- Sheds and storage buildings
- Run-from-home businesses
It would be wise to be closely familiar with your HOA agreement in order to know the specific regulations set for your neighborhood. In most neighborhoods, homeowners will pay HOA fees to go toward maintenance and upkeep expenses, and you have the right to know what you pay for with your dues.
What happens when there is a dispute?
In many cases, an HOA attempts to protect the interests of the homeowners who make up its members. In addition, having well-maintained common areas, such as a pool, can be a great benefit to your family. If a dispute arises between you and a neighbor, the HOA may have the authority to offer the final word to settle the matter without the need for any further action.
However, there are instances in which an HOA may overstep its authority or neglect its duty to you. Whether the HOA refuses to repair something or is attempting to regulate an issue that is not is not under its authority, you may find it both overwhelming and quite frustrating as the homeowner. In these cases, it may be prudent to look for experienced guidance from a professional in order to resolve these issues in a beneficial manner.
Protect your rights as a homeowner
As a homeowner, you have certain rights. If you believe that you are receiving unfair treatment from your HOA or that you have experienced a violation of your rights, you do not have to navigate these complicated legal issues on your own. You may greatly benefit from finding a way to protect both your financial interests and your property interests.