California residents who are considering purchasing a home in an HOA should carefully review the covenants, conditions and restrictions beforehand. Violating a homeowner association rule can result in fines and legal issues.
Individuals who purchase a home in an HOA automatically become members of the HOA and are legally bound by the HOA's rules. The CC&Rs specify what can and cannot be done with the property. The rules govern everything from what color of the front door to where a homeowner is allowed to park his or her vehicle.
Many people believe that an HOA is beneficial because it can help with maintaining property values. Homeowners are prevented by their HOAs from taking any actions that could lower property values. Many other individuals dislike that HOAs are able dictate what they can and cannot do to their own property. The monthly dues required by an HOA are also an issue for many.
People may have questions or concerns about the authority of the association. HOA rules, including the CC&Rs, are generally able to limit and control property ownership as long as they are practical and do not contradict any existing HOA regulations. Resolving disputes with an HOA may be easy if there is a section of the CC&Rs that pertains directly to the issue. However, there may also be cases in which the rules may have multiple interpretations. In these situations, it may be necessary to find resolution through the appropriate state agency.
An attorney who practices real estate law may provide a number of services, including providing guidance to homeowners who are engaged in a dispute with their HOA. The attorney may review the CC&Rs and may advise clients of their legal options. If necessary, the attorney may pursue litigation in order to resolve an HOA dispute.