In the 2016 Legislative Session, 44 Bills which related to Community Association operations in Florida were brought before various Committees. It’s a hot topic that relates to millions of Florida residents and HOAs are no stranger to legal action.
There may come a time in your life where you choose to buy a home that is part of a residential subdivision and led by a homeowners’ association. There are a great many benefits to being part of an association and many homeowners like the peace of mind their association brings to them by providing them with security, maintenance, lawn care and other community regulations. With the benefits also come common issues of homeowners’ associations. Today, we’re here to talk about some of the common issues that you may face in your new neighborhood.
Homeowners’ Associations: What They Are
By definition, a homeowners’ association is an organization that is designed to protect the overall value of the residential subdivision and the homes in that particular subdivision. The purpose of such organization is so that the real estate developer can market, manage and sell homes in the subdivision, and impose rules and regulations to help maintain order. Such regulations include:
- How many cars may be permitted in the driveway.
- What side of the street (if applicable) cars may be parked.
- Pet breed and size restrictions.
- Yard maintenance.
Having these rules can be good for some, but bad for others, especially when there are problems with the operation of your homeowners’ association.
Lack of Organization
You’re part of the community, which means that you’ve got the right to know what’s going on, what changes are being made and potentially have the opportunity to put your two cents in under certain situations. One of the main problems many people face with their homeowners’ association is a lack of knowledge about certain issues within the community. This is due to association members not providing proper and timely documentation regarding meetings, agendas or financial documents that explain how assessments are being calculated.
Depending on your homeowners’ association, the association may be responsible for taking care of certain repairs. It varies from community to community, but oftentimes, homeowners get frustrated with the lack of progress on their repairs. Many issues are resolved slowly, or may be neglected, forcing you to live with the issue for longer than you should.
There are rules in place for a reason, yet you’re seeing your neighbor consistently break them and your homeowners’ association is doing nothing about it. Chronic disturbances that need to be addressed can put a damper on your home life. These include:
- Noise disturbances
- Unkempt lawn, home, etc.
- Parking issues
- Pet problems
Other issues that tend to come up include inconsistency in how the rules and regulations of the homeowners’ association are applied to its residents. One neighbor may be allowed to do something that you’re not allowed to do. This leads to quarrels between neighbors and problems between you and your homeowners’ association.
What You Can Do
The first thing to do if you feel as though your homeowners’ association isn’t doing their job is to check your homeowners’ association documents to be sure that you have just cause to seek legal help. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in community association law is crucial in getting the best outcome for your case, as they can assist and advise you on your options and help find the best option for you.
Don’t hesitate to contact Mark Woodward (239-649-6555) or Jennifer Tenney (239-394-5161) at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. or visit www.wpl-legal to get started today.