In the state of California, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) maintain many residential neighborhoods. As a result, the HOA dictates what you can do to your single-family home, condominium, or townhouse after you purchase it. While the HOA does provide some benefits to homeowners, many real estate lawsuits occur due to disputes with the HOA. Due to the potential for conflict with the HOA, every California resident should familiarize themselves with certain facts about HOAs.
HOAs must comply with the federal government
Federal laws directly apply to HOAs. One reason that HOA disputes exist is alleged violation of these federal laws.
Examples of federal laws that directly affect what HOAs can and cannot do include the:
- Fair Housing Act
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- American with Disabilities Act
- Freedom to Display the American Flag Act
- United States Bankruptcy Code
The Davis-Stirling Act governs every aspect of HOAs in California
California passed The Davis-Stirling Act in 1985. The Act addresses all aspects of HOAs’ operations. The Davis-Stirling Act also takes several specific steps to protect homeowners. The Act limits board members and establishes rights for the homeowners; in disputes with the HOA, The Davis-Stirling Act offers legal authority for homeowners.
The Act specifies that homeowners can do the following:
- Hold peaceful political protests
- Display religious symbols
- Own pets
- Grow gardens
You can resolve disputes with HOAs
Disagreements frequently occur when dealing with an HOA. Most communities and HOAs have guidelines for conflict management. If these attempts at conflict resolution do not work, or if you suspect that the HOA is violating federal or state law, you want to consult with an attorney. If left unresolved, HOA disputes can result in foreclosures, liens, and lawsuits against the homeowner.