California homeowners who live in communities with homeowners' associations know that it is not always easy to deal with these organizations. Homeowners and HOAs do not always get along, and these conflicts can sometimes lead to difficult legal disputes. If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, it may be in your interests to know how to avoid problems.
One of the most effective ways to deal with HOA problems is to avoid them in the first place. Homeowners who move into HOA communities likely have to sign a covenant that outlines what the HOA and the homeowner can expect from each other. Sometimes, simply reviewing this contract can help you deal with issues on which you may be unsure. However, there are times when an HOA can infringe on the rights of the property owner, and action may be necessary.
Avoiding common issues
In many situations, complex and costly HOA disputes originate over simple problems and misunderstandings. Whether you already live in a neighborhood with this type of governing organization or you are considering a move, it may be helpful to learn more about common HOA violations and disputes. Often, they originate over the following types of issues:
- Where people park their vehicle and how many cars or trucks a driveway allows
- Changes or additions to landscaping that are visible from the street
- When homeowners can put out their trashcans and where they store them when not in use
- Whether or not homeowners can have pets and whether or not they can be in the yards unattended
- How many people can live in one home
- Whether or not a homeowner can change the look of his or her mailbox
If you have questions about any of these issues or others, it can be helpful to look over all documents and find out what you can and cannot do. In the event that you experienced a violation of your property rights by the HOA, you can seek legal resolution to your concerns.
Homeowners can fight back
HOA boards are often impersonal and difficult to deal with, especially if you disagree with a ruling or notice of a violation. You made a significant financial investment to purchase your home, and you have the right to protect your assets and interests. When facing an issue with your HOA, it will be beneficial to take quick action to resolve the issue in a timely manner.