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Governing documents and the HOA's responsiblities

Living in a California community with an HOA has many advantages, but there are times in which your relationship with this organization can become contentious in the event of a dispute. Dealing with issues and complications with your HOA is not always easy, and there are times in which it is necessary to know your rights and how to protect your interests.

It is always useful to know the obligations the HOA must meet. Upon moving into the neighborhood, you likely signed a contract containing all of the terms of the HOA's responsibilities and authority, and it is prudent to be closely familiar with the terms of the agreement. Knowing your rights is the first step in protecting your property rights.

Your relationship with your HOA

When it comes to protecting your property rights and holding your HOA accountable for problems, disputes and other problems, knowledge is power. In a contentious dispute with your HOA, a lot of emotions will likely be involved, but it is possible to navigate these issues toward a beneficial resolution. When you look at your HOA contract, it should clearly outline rights and responsibilities of both parties. Here is what your agreement should include:

  • Specific definitions: Your contract should be very clear on the definition of specific things such as common areas, maintenance procedures and other issues.
  • The rights of the HOA and its responsibilities: Maintenance responsibilities and the HOA's power to act in certain circumstances without the property owner's permission should be very clear.
  • The division of property: The contract and covenant should be very specific about what qualifies as a common area and what is the property of the owner.
  • The responsibilities and rights of the owner: As the property owner, you should know what you can do and what you cannot do, as well as what you can expect from your HOA.

A simple review of the contract may provide the answers you need, but sometimes, it is imperative to seek legal guidance in order to understand what certain things mean, challenge illegal or unfair terms, or address issues not specifically mentioned in your contract.

Shielding your interests in an HOA dispute

It is not easy to navigate complex issues with your HOA. While legal action is not always necessary, it is always useful to have a complete explanation of your legal rights when addressing these concerns. Protecting your property rights is important, and you would only be doing your due diligence to seek a full understanding of how you can shield your interests and seek a positive outcome.

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