When owners aren’t satisfied with their homeowners’ associations (HOAs), they may take action by filing a civil lawsuit against the HOA. At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, our experienced lawyer has been advising HOA boards for over three decades, and can help you to understand the top reasons why lawsuits are filed, what you can do to mitigate legal actions, and what to do if a lawsuit is filed. Consider these six top reasons that HOAs get sued in Lynn:
- Failure to Upkeep the Property
Each HOA contract is unique, but most documents contain some sort of language stipulating that in return for an owner paying HOA dues, the HOA will perform some form of property maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. The HOA may also be responsible for things like gardening, washing windows, painting fences, and major repairs (such as roof or siding repairs). If an owner believes that the HOA is not upholding its end of the bargain, the owner may file a lawsuit in response.
HOAs are banned from discrimination, per state and federal discrimination laws. This means that if any HOA bylaws or contracts contain discriminatory language, or if actions are taken against a person based solely on discrimination (i.e. one person is fined for an HOA violation while the other is not, and the former believes it’s because of their race/sex/religion/sexual orientation/etc.), the HOA could be in violation of the law.
- Pet-Related Issues
Pet-related issues are a common reason why people file lawsuits against their HOAs. For example, residents may disagree with HOAs regarding how many animals they can keep, what breeds of animals may be kept, whether or not service and emotional support animals can be kept (under federal law, they can), what should be done with cats that roam the property, and more.
- Contract Violations
As stated above, an HOA contract can contain a number of stipulations that both owners and the HOA and contractually obligated to adhere to. If an owner believes that the HOA has violated the contract in any way, they may choose to file a lawsuit.
- Remodel Disputes
Sometimes, owners want to remodel their property–i.e. take out a wall, expand the kitchen, redo the shower, etc.–and the HOA is prohibiting it. Other times, the HOA may want to do a remodel that an owner disagrees with and believes is a contract violation, such as adding a swimming pool. In either case, the owner may try to take the issue to court to secure a resolution in their favor.
- Election Disagreements
HOA boards are elected, and believe it or not, election disputes are one of the top reasons that owners bring forth lawsuits against HOAs. This problem is increased when the HOA has failed to uphold its end of the bargain, such as keeping proper records (hint: If you’re on an HOA board, keep thorough documentation of everything!).
Contact an Experienced HOA Lawyer in Lynn Today
If your HOA is facing a potential lawsuit, or has had a civil complaint filed against it in Lynn, you need an experienced homeowners’ association lawyer on your side. Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30 years’ experience representing HOAs in and around Lynn, and is ready to provide you with the knowledgeable legal advice you’re looking for. Contact the offices of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law for an initial consultation today.