California homeowners who live in communities governed by an HOA may be used to disputes with association leadership. However, one case involving Kansas HOA Avignon Villa Homes Community Association has been going on since 2013. Legal fees in the case are expected to hit $1 million after Avignon Villa appealed a January ruling by a judge in Johnson County. The ruling found that both sides were at fault in a battle related to a landscaping project.
In her ruling, the judge ruled that the homeowner must pay the HOA $25,000 in damages for not following protocol before beginning the project. However, she also ruled that the HOA did not act in good faith in not allowing the project to take place. Avignon Villa claims that it tried to settle the matter but that their offers were flatly denied by the homeowner.
In response, the homeowner claimed that their settlement offer would have required him to pay legal fees to enforce the settlement's terms. So far, the association has paid $365,000 to contest the case, and it has budgeted another $35,000 to do so in 2019. While both sides have tried to get the other to pay its costs, the January ruling in the matter requires both sides to cover them on their own.
Individuals who find themselves in a homeowner dispute may benefit from trying to find a reasonable solution in a timely manner. Doing so may preserve relationships and keep legal and other costs to a minimum. However, those who need assistance resolving such a dispute may want to hire an attorney. An attorney may be able to review the matter and find a way to resolve it in a manner favorable to the homeowner. This may include resolving the matter through a court order.