There are many benefits to living in a neighborhood or community with a Homeowners' Association. These organizations, when run properly, maintain the aesthetics of the neighborhood and enforce certain rules that are important to the community. However, you, like other California homeowners, may know that these groups can sometimes overstep the boundaries of their authority.
When HOAs are out of line, it places homeowners in difficult positions, especially if they want to move or are already in the process of transitioning. HOA disputes can quickly spiral to become much more than a simple dispute, and it can become a legal matter you may need help to resolve. If you are moving during a dispute, you may find it beneficial to seek help as you deal with these complex matters.
Protecting your rights as a property owner
Whether you are personally involved in a legal dispute with your HOA or you learn about its involvement in a lawsuit as you prepare to sell, it can cause a serious disruption in your plans. Legal disputes involving HOAs can happen for many reasons, including some of the following:
- Unpaid HOA member dues
- Unfair application of the bylaws
- Discrimination or prejudicial behavior on part of the HOA
- Construction disputes
- Paint colors and external decorations
- Homeowner rights
- Boundary disputes and encroachment issues
No matter the reason for the lawsuit or the particular parties involved, there are things that you as the seller should know. First of all, you will need to disclose what you know about the dispute to any potential buyers. You may also need to talk to your HOA about the situation, as there may be laws that compel it to disclose certain information about the dispute.
Despite your efforts, it is helpful to remember that some people may not want to move into a neighborhood that has issues with the HOA. If you are personally involved in the lawsuit with the HOA, it may be prudent to work for a satisfactory resolution in a timely manner.
Discuss your options before moving forward
As a seller, there are certain things you have to disclose to a prospective buyer. State laws and other factors determine whether or not that includes issues and legal disputes with the neighborhood HOA. Before you proceed, it can be helpful to discuss your case in detail with an experienced real estate attorney about your concerns regarding the sale of your home.