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HOA dispute divides community over fence repair

California residents who live in a development subject to the conditions of a homeowners' association can find themselves in disputes with their neighbors or HOA board about major financial decisions. For example, there can be debates about particular properties and features in the neighborhood and whether they are the responsibility of the HOA or of individual property owners.

One Kansas community is in the middle of such an dispute. The homeowners' association made plans to pay $40,000 to replace a fence mounted in 2001 by the HOA and today suffering from damage and decay. The fence stretches along the back of a number of individual properties and reflects one continuous fence at the entrance to the neighborhood.

Some members of the HOA have argued that fence replacement should be the responsibility of those individual property holders and not of the entire association. They believe that the 2001 construction of the fence was a one-time expense and not a commitment to maintain it in perpetuity. Instead, they say, the HOA transferred the property to the 20 homeowners that the fence abuts.

The HOA board says that despite a resolution to that effect being passed at the time, it was never officially filed and thus the property transfer was not effectuated, rendering it invalid. In addition, current board members argue that the appearance of the fence as one continuous line rather than 20 divergent fences is important to the overall appearance of the neighborhood.

HOA disputes can be time-consuming and very disruptive to the community and local property owners, and changes in property appearances can affect the value of homes. Consulting an HOA dispute resolution lawyer can help property owners to resolve long-running conflicts.

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