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A dispute with a HOA can sometimes get personal

Many California residents live in communities run by homeowners' associations. The HOA and an individual owner could get in a dispute over a variety of issues, especially in regard to renovations, additions or new construction. Most disputes can be worked out through meetings or mediation. However, some conflicts can turn ugly.

Such was the case of a South Carolina man living in a neighborhood controlled by an HOA. The problem arose when he sought to have a sunroom added to his home. After a series of disputes and a lawsuit, the man has become convinced that the HOA is determined to drive him out of the community.

The present dispute began because the HOA alleged the homeowner began construction without obtaining a permit through the architectural committee of the HOA. The owner allegedly continued construction without obtaining a permit or approval from the committee. Eventually, a lawsuit was filed by the HOA and the owner was ordered to pay more than $3,000 in legal fees. When the owner didn't pay, the court issued a bench warrant.

The matter escalated earlier this year when the HOA sent a series of letters to the owner. The letters reminded him that the exterior of the sunroom was not completed and sought an estimated completion date. In response, the owner claimed that the exterior is complete. The owner feels that these letters and other contacts are an attempt to single him out and harass him.

When an HOA dispute becomes apparent, it may be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney. Legal counsel could review the HOA agreement and other applicable laws to determine whether the HOA is overexerting its authority or if the issue can be resolved without litigation.

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