California residents who live in neighborhoods run by homeowners associations understand that there are rules that must be followed. One woman in Indiana is selling her home after the Silver Springs HOA ruled that her fish ponds were prohibited above ground pools. The owner of the property said that she used the fish to help with anxiety issues. However, the HOA filed a lawsuit against her in May 2018 saying that she continued to violate its bylaws.
Furthermore, the suit claimed that the ponds were visible from the street, which diminished the aesthetic appeal of surrounding properties. The HOA says that the woman could keep the ponds as long as they were moved to an area that was not visible from the street. The homeowner claims that she was forced to leave by Aug. 10 after working with Silver Springs for a year to come to a compromise.
While the ponds could be moved to the back of the home, the owner claims that there isn't enough space because she keeps a service animal there. An attorney for the HOA claims that the homeowner only needs to respond to the lawsuit by that date and that no one has told her to leave. He also pointed out that Silver Springs already made an exception by allowing her to have the miniature horse.
In some cases, an HOA dispute can be resolved through informal negotiations between neighbors or between residents and board members. However, if those talks don't work, it may be necessary to hire an attorney. An attorney may review the case and determine whether an action taken by either a resident or the HOA violates existing rules.