California residents who live in communities that have homeowners associations might be interested to learn that several board members at a HOA in Florida resigned following a dispute over a resident's Little Free Library. Little Free Libraries are part of a movement started in 2009 in which little structures are built in neighborhoods where people can leave or take books.
In this case, the board had objected to the library on the grounds that it was an unapproved structure. Board members also refused to discuss the issue of the library at meetings. The community association manager said the unapproved structure could open the way to others that could bring down property values. The family who put the library up had been ordered to take it down and pay legal fees, but they refused. The dispute dragged on for months and played out on social media as well. Although the community has what is known as a "nuisance clause", in the wake of the battle over the library, some residents argued it was not consistently applied.
Instead, the family got signatures from around half of the neighborhood residents saying they wanted the library to stay. Four of the board directors resigned, and new members were appointed. One was a member of the family who had originally established the library.
Homeowner disputes can take a number of different forms. A HOA could refuse to allow a homeowner to undertake certain renovations or might try to fine a homeowner for violating community standards. HOA disputes can be costly and stressful, and a person engaged in one might want to meet with an attorney. Homeowners may also find themselves at odds with a neighbor over an issue such as a property line. If they are unable to resolve the issue, it might be necessary to seek legal representation.