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Negligence of maintenance responsibilities could lead to HOA disputes

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Litigation, Real Estate Law

Most planned communities in California have their respective Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) managing the neighborhood. The HOA oversees various aspects such as maintenance of communal areas, enforcement of neighborhood rules, collection of fees and upkeep of the overall community image.

Sometimes, residents find it unfair and frustrating when the HOA is not doing its part. For example, the HOA strictly implements maintenance regulations among residents, collecting fines for every unkept lawn, but fails to do their part in maintaining communal areas. If you face the same situation, here are three options to address the issue.

Checking your HOA’s obligations

When you feel the HOA neglects its responsibilities, you must first check its governing documents. These documents enumerate the HOA’s responsibilities for maintaining shared areas. You could check specific articles on how the HOA should maintain communal spaces, including landscaping, roads and streetlights. You can also discuss your concern with the HOA member assigned to keep the communal areas.

Bringing up the concern to the HOA Board

Once you have enough evidence to support your claim, you can communicate your concern to the HOA Board. You can file a formal complaint along with proof of their negligence, such as photos and documents. You can respectfully point out the concern and propose actions to address the issue. Additionally, when your concern involves financial matters, it is crucial to demand accountability from your HOA. For example, when the HOA collects maintenance fees for shared areas, you can request a report on how they used the funds.

Resorting to legal action

If all else fails, you can consider legal action. If the HOA’s governing documents clearly state their obligations for maintenance, you and other homeowners could sue the HOA for a breach of contract. You can also take legal action for the HOA’s negligence when you have proven that they are aware of the issue but decide not to act on it.

The HOA plays a vital role in maintaining order, preserving property values and fostering a sense of community within the neighborhood. Misalignment between how the HOA performs its responsibilities and how it obliges residents to follow regulations could cause disputes with the homeowners. However, legal action should be the last resort in resolving disputes. It would be helpful to seek guidance from an experienced attorney to assist you throughout the process and find a solution that works for the whole community.