In California, homeowners may belong to an HOA that has certain rules about how homes are kept. However, if an HOA won't enforce its rules or leaves those who file complaints open to retaliation, it may have an effect on property values. It may also have an effect on how marketable a given unit or property may be.
There are some steps that a property owner within an HOA may take if it has a weak board. First, it may be a good idea to connect with other residents who may share a common frustration with that board. Connecting with other people may make it easier to share costs or better organize to take action necessary to successfully challenge or change an HOA's board. An individual's home or a nearby coffee shop may be ideal places to hold an initial meeting.
It may also be a good idea to meet with the board to find out what the problem may be. It could be that whoever retaliates against residents for filing complaints has threatened the board as well. If there isn't enough support yet to agitate for change, it may be a good idea to relocate or simply accept the reality of the situation as it exists within the HOA.
If a homeowner is engaged in an HOA dispute, it may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help the client learn more about ways to remedy the problem in an informal manner. However, an attorney may represent an individual in court. If successful, a homeowner may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages that are the subject of the dispute.