Disputes with a homeowners' association are among the most common and distressing problems a homeowner faces. They can also be costly and time-consuming. A Newport Beach HOA dispute lawyer can help you come to a quick and favorable resolution to ensure that all your homeowner needs are met. Learn more about the many different types of disputes which can arise between a homeowner and a homeowners' association.
The Many Types of Disputes Orange County Homeowners Face
Most homeowners are familiar with common HOA disputes, such as dues, fines, and paint color choices. But there are many other aspects of the HOA-homeowner which can result in conflict. One such example is landscaping. The OC Register reports on the effects of the official end of the drought emergency. When Governor Jerry Brown declared the drought emergency over on April 7, 2017, some of the provisions of the emergency drought order remained in effect. For example: HOAs are still not permitted to fine homeowners for installing drought-tolerant landscaping. Other provisions have ended, and HOAs are again allowed to fine homeowners for failing to water and maintain their yards, or failing to wash the exterior of their homes.
Other times, the dispute is complicated by fundamental conflicts in the state and federal law which govern it. The OC Register reports on one such conflict pertaining to pools and spas owned by HOAs. The California Code of Regulations requires that such facilities have posted signage which prohibits use by children under the age of fourteen without a parent or guardian present. However: the federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based upon familial status. Banning children from any housing facilities (including pools and spas) is a violation of federal law. This creates a bizarre situation in which an HOA is legally obligated to post the warnings, but is simultaneously legally banned from enforcing them. Such conundrums can also arise with respect to workout facilities and other common areas which pose dangers to children.
Unreasonable copy and document fees are another area of dispute which arises with surprising frequency. Section of 4530 of the California Civil Code allows an HOA to collect "reasonable fees" from a seller to cover the actual costs of procuring the HOA documents which are required to be presented to a buyer in escrow. This creates a wide divide between what the seller and the HOA consider to be "reasonable." Reasonableness can also vary with circumstances. Documents which are lengthy, complicated, or difficult to access may reasonably incur more actual costs to prepare.
These are just a few examples of the many disputes which can arise between a homeowner and his or her homeowners' association. Some of these disputes can be resolved with honest, professional discussions of the disputes at issue. Others can create complicated situations which result in years of litigation, back payments, or penalty fines. Protect your financial interests by consulting with an HOA attorney as soon as possible, in order to determine the right course of action for your particular circumstances.