Dealing with an HOA dispute is tough business. In fact, it’s serious business and it’s something that’s best avoided. But, if you find yourself running afoul of the rules, you’ll obviously want to correct the situation as soon as possible. Once you do, you can stop worrying and carry on with your day-to-day life. So, let’s take a look at how to avoid an HOA dispute before it becomes a real problem.
How to Avoid an HOA Dispute
The whole point behind establishing a homeowners association is to help ensure property values stay stable while incrementally rising. Think about it this way. In an HOA community, your neighbor can’t devalue your home by painting his a wild color. Or, by letting his house fall into a state of serious disrepair.
“Homeowner associations exist to protect the common interests of owners and residents of a building or neighborhood. The board sets rules that residents agree to when they move in. But disagreements still happen, often due either to different interpretations of the rules or to new rules that not all owners like. Your HOA bylaws should have regulations in place outlining the procedures to follow for airing grievances. Usually residents must use the board’s internal dispute resolution process before resorting to a lawsuit. This benefits everyone, because lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming.” —Avvo.com
So, the best way to avoid unwittingly creating an HOA dispute is not to start one in the first place. That means knowing the basic rules and following the. Now, it’s understandable you might well be frustrated because you aren’t free to go ahead with some type of home improvement. But, it’s better to try to find common ground and compromise.
Top HOA Dispute Resolution Tips You can Try
Of course, some residents find themselves in bad situations. It’s an unintentional consequence of what is believed to just be a benign or inconsequential action. If you do find yourself in such a scenario, here are some helpful HOA dispute resolution tips you can use:
- Learn about your rights. The very first thing you need to do and do right away is to learn more about the HOA’s bylaws. You probably have some type of recourse or at least a way to fix it and move on with your life.
- Take a smart and savvy tact. Instead of just fighting back and lashing out, you should instead work your way to the heart of the problem with tact. You can speak with individual members of the board to learn more about the situation and how to find a resolution.
- Subtly use your influence when possible. Also, speak with your neighbors. You might just well find genuine support. Perhaps others are equally as unhappy and would like to change the rules. After all, if several others share your view, that’s a good thing. You can then petition the board as a group of likeminded homeowners.
- Be sure to pay any fines you owe. If you are fined, you shouldn’t ignore these. Doing so will only serve to exacerbate the problem. What’s more, it puts you in real legal jeopardy. Fines are a way to get you to comply. Even if you’re ostensibly in the right, failure to pay fines will lead to even more trouble down the road.
- Document everything. Of course, you should document everything that happens. Be sure to take photos, keep documents handy, and take plenty of notes.
If you are considering buying or selling a house in Orlando’s Hunter’s Creek, or another community, contact us for the latest market information. We are local and experienced in all facets of residential real estate, here to help you, when you need it.