If you live in a California neighborhood with an HOA or you are considering such a move, you may find it beneficial to learn more about the way HOAs work, including how to resolve disputes and violations. This effort is prudent for every homeowner, as it may be necessary at some point to contest the actions of an HOA or protect your interests in the event of a dispute.
A CC&R is an agreement between an HOA and homeowners. Typically, these neighborhood covenants outline what the HOA can and cannot regulate. It should also include an outline for procedures in the event of a violation of the CC&R or seeking a variance.
Requesting a variance
There are times that a CC&R is impractical for the homeowner. Whether it is over the issue of external paint colors or other things that may differ from normal procedures, you may want to deviate from the terms of your CC&R. One way to do this is by requesting a variance. Here is what you may need to know about a variance:
- By requesting a variance, you are essentially seeking permission to do something that differs from the requirements of the CC&R.
- You are likely to succeed with your variance request if a denial would cause undue hardship to you as the homeowner. An example would include a request for building a ramp for a wheelchair-bound resident.
- Most requests for variances come forward for review during a hearing. Other homeowners may receive notice of the hearing, or just the homeowners who may experience an effect from the variance.
If you requested a variance and it did not get approval, you are not out of options. It is possible that your HOA is overstepping its bounds, and you can continue to fight for your right to use your property as needed and denied.
Dealing with violations of a CC&R
In most cases, the first step after a violation of a CC&R is a verbal or written notice, or both. After this, there may be a hearing where you can present your case regarding the alleged violation. Whether you are dealing with complications regarding CC&Rs, or you are fighting for your property rights, you do not have to do it alone.
Dealing with complications with your HOA can be a complex process. It's stressful and potentially costly, but it may be possible to seek a reasonable resolution that protects your interests.