California residents who have had disputes with their homeowners association might be interested in a case that is unfolding in another state. The company that owns a home in a neighborhood outside of Aspen, Colorado, Epic View, has filed a lawsuit against that neighborhood's HOA alleging that it was wrongfully fined by the HOA.
The dispute is over a home on which construction began in May 2007. The HOA says the home has still not received a certificate of occupancy. The HOA approved the home's construction in December 2005, and according to the lawsuit, although there was an agreed-upon completion date, there were no fines or other penalties attached to not meeting that date. There were various delays along the way, one connected with the recession and another with delays in obtaining necessary permits. The lawsuit notes an effort to mitigate the effect of the construction on neighbors by constructing a forest of aspen and evergreen trees around the site.
The HOA has issued a total of $900,000 in fines, some of which were paid by the former owner. Epic View acquired the property in June 2017. The suit claims breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty among other violations.
As this case demonstrates, a homeowner dispute with a HOA can be complex. People who find themselves in such a situation may want to consult an attorney. HOA rules and regulations can be complicated and can vary from place to place, so experience with another HOA may be of a little help for a person dealing with a different HOA. An attorney might be able to negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit if a settlement is not forthcoming.
Source: The Aspen Times, "Homeowner near Aspen takes Starwood HOA to court over $900k in fines", Rick Carroll, March 30, 2018