Running a successful homeowners’ association is a difficult task. Each resident within a community has their preferences for how they decorate and maintain their home, and there always seems to be one or two owners who simply do not want to operate inside the HOA guidelines.
In many cases, some owners will find conflict wherever they go, regardless of how strict or relaxed an HOA keeps its guidelines. However, in other instances, the individuals operating the HOA make life much too difficult for owners in the community by maintaining unreasonably strict guidelines around house and property care.
If you operate a contentious HOA, or if you find yourself in conflict with the HOA in your community, it is wise to refresh your understanding of the aspects of property that HOA’s may regulate. You may find that some of your regulations overstep their bounds or may affirm that the guidelines you hold in place are reasonable. In either case, building a strong legal strategy to address your HOA conflict helps ensure that you keep your rights secure while you resolve any conflicts.
Typical regulation items
Depending on the location and nature of a community, the issues covered in an HOA agreement can vary significantly. For instance, a community on the Florida coast may have much different guidelines than a community in suburban Colorado. Typical homeowner guidelines may address:
Landscaping choices and lawn care
Shrubbery, hedges and fencing
Recreational structures (swing sets, basketball goals, soccer nets)
Aesthetic choices such as shingles, paint and siding colors
Exterior structures such as workshops and tool sheds
Homeowners’ associations have a decent amount of flexibility in determining and enforcing these guidelines, which is often where conflicts arise. In too many neighborhoods throughout the country, petty neighbor conflicts find their way into HOA meetings and often disrupt important community business.
Protect your rights now
If you anticipate a legal conflict due to your HOA’s guidelines, it is wise to review the guidelines carefully. In some cases, simply reading the exact language use in the guidelines can show you areas of flexibility you did not see previously. It may seem like overkill to seek out legal counsel for an HOA conflict, but these disagreements can have significant consequences.
Protecting your rights and your home is a crucial part of living in America. Be sure to use all the legal guidance and resources you need to resolve your HOA conflict quickly and effectively.