If you live in a California neighborhood or community with a homeowner's association (HOA), you may find yourself in a situation at some point in which you are involved in a disagreement with your HOA. Whether it is regarding a tree in your yard or the color of paint on your house, you would be wise to know your rights and know how to effectively handle HOA-homeowner disputes.
When an HOA restricts the rights of a homeowner, that person has the right to secure legal help in order to effectively and beneficially resolve the issue at hand. You do not have to navigate these potentially complex issues on your own, and you may find great benefit in securing the help of a legal ally to advocate for your rights and interests.
Your rights as a homeowner
The California Corporations Code grants homeowners certain rights. A violation of these rights would be grounds to work with an attorney to file a complaint with the Attorney General. Common code violations by HOAs can include the following issues:
- Failure to hold regular meetings or notify homeowners of meetings
- Doing business not authorized by the HOA bylaws
- Falsification of HOA reports or records
- Failure to keep books or prepare an annual report
Homeowners who are aware of violations have valid grounds with which to be concerned, yet the above are not the only reasons why you may dispute the rulings or operations of your neighborhood HOA. Other common reasons for disputes include:
- Architectural approval
- Municipal code violations
- Property assessments
- Changes in by-laws
- Noise and pet complaints
- Property use and residency rights
- Improper use of common areas
Concerns over these issues may not initially seem to merit legal counsel, but a violation of your rights as a homeowner is always a serious issue. At minimum, you may find it useful to seek an opinion regarding potential legal options.
The proper course of action
How do you proceed when you find that you do not agree with a decision or course of action made by your HOA? You always have the right to protect your interests, and it can be beneficial to seek the guidance of an attorney regarding matters that affect your family, your home and your property rights.
Seeking a case evaluation with an experienced attorney is a practical first step that you can take toward resolving these conflicts and reaching a positive, sustainable solution.