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HOA and property owners feud over paint colors

California residents may understand what it feels like to be in a dispute with a neighbor. However, a recent episode in Wyoming shows how disputes can turn into major legal issues. The Cody Ranchettes Homeowners' Association, which is in Powell, Wyo., asked a judge to compel a couple who lives in the HOA to conform with rules regarding exterior house colors. In its complaint, the HOA claims that the home has been painted in four different colors when association rules say that only one color is allowed on the walls and one on the trim.

In response, one of the home's owners said that the HOA was selectively enforcing the rules. This person also threatened to appeal as often as possible if the court ruled in favor of the association. According to the rules of the Cody Ranchettes Homeowners' Association, property owners must submit a paint plan for approval. The association says that this never happened and that the resulting color scheme doesn't mesh with other homes in the area.

The homeowners were upset with the HOA because they were delivered a letter by hand on April 20, which the association claimed was meant to make the news less impersonal. Negotiations to resolve the matter did not yield a positive result. The property owners offered to pay a fine of $25, and the HOA offered to help paint the home once a compromise solution was found.

Individuals who find themselves in an HOA dispute have several options to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. One option may be to hire an attorney to represent their interests as a case unfolds. This may be helpful whether the case is resolved in or out of court. An attorney may be able to review HOA guidelines or other facts to help a homeowner obtain a favorable outcome while preserving relationships within the community.

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