In California, a homeowners’ association, or HOA, is subject to federal and state laws regarding housing discrimination and other issues. Within those legal parameters, however, an HOA has quite a lot of leverage, as a recent story illustrates.
According to the allegations in a recent lawsuit, a developer failed to inform property owners of sinking ground conditions affecting a downtown San Francisco high-rise. Under California law, an HOA that is responsible for issues like the condition or repair of exterior walls is the logical plaintiff in a lawsuit against a negligent developer. In this case, the HOA is pursing damages needed to cover the cost of structural repairs. The HOA is the named plaintiff, acting on behalf of all the affected property owners.
Yet consensus between an HOA and its constituent property owners is not always the case. Disagreement may rise over the interpretation of specific HOA rules. For this reason, a buyer who purchases a home in a development subject to an HOA generally should investigate the specific rules, covenants and/or restrictions that apply to the community before closing the deal.
Our California real estate law firm has helped protect the rights of both HOAs and property owners. Whether a dispute has arisen between neighbors or divided the HOA, our attorneys have the experience and understanding of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act to properly analyze and apply the parameters of state law. Where possible, we will represent a client in mediation to cut down on the costs of litigation. However, our ultimate aim is to help our clients obtain the best outcome. Accordingly, we will work equally hard in the courtroom.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Homeowners Association at Sinking High-Rise in San Francisco Sues Developer,” Kristin J. Bender, March 31, 2017