If you are a property owner in a planned residential community that operates under the authority of a Homeowners Association, you've likely got your bylaws and so-called CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions; please see our May 10 blog post) ready at hand in a home-based file or storage cabinet.
When something at all untoward comes up with the property (say a basic maintenance issue or sudden damage that obviously requires quick repair), those documents will spell out the details regarding who to call, what business entity will show up to make things right, who will pay for costs expended and so forth.
In fact, they often do. In fact, that is one intended function of such seminal homeowners' documents/agreements.
Notwithstanding the aim of governing contracts and papers to provide clarity when questions and issues arise, however, matters involving maintenance and repairs to HOA-administered dwellings sometimes become murky and contested.
As we note on a relevant website page of our Mission Viejo real estate law firm at Home Owner Advocates discussing maintenance and repair issues in planned residential communities, such matters "can become complicated quite rapidly." Sometimes it is just not clear who is responsible to act when things are in disrepair. Moreover, multiple separate interest homeowners might be involved. Additionally, complex questions can arise concerning whether the damage at issue relates to separate property or is communal in nature.
And, on top of that, party-related questions and concerns can become complex in a hurry. Maybe an owner has a dispute with another property holder. Perhaps he is challenging both another owner and the HOA. Or it could be the case that multiple homeowners are demanding action from an HOA board.
A proven real estate attorney with a deep well of experience working on behalf of HOAs and homeowners in planned communities can help sort things out in a repair/maintenance matter and help promote the best interests of a party needing legal assistance.