Skilled Legal Support for Violations of the Association’s Covenants
Serving You and The State of Florida
Homeowners’ associations are tasked with making sure that neighborhoods stay safe, beautiful, and comfortable to live in. The HOA and the people who live in HOA-managed neighborhoods sign an agreement to work together to keep the community in the best possible condition. The bylaws and guidelines that are used to create this pact must be followed by both the HOA and the people who live in the neighborhood.
However, sometimes there are issues that happen when the HOA does not follow the rules that are set out for its own actions in regard to neighborhood management. Homeowners can be uncertain about how to proceed when the HOA is not acting in accordance with its own contract. This kind of issue typically requires that the residents of the neighborhood secure a lawyer who can support them as they take action against the HOA.
Working with a skilled legal team like the one at the Lopez Law Group is essential if your HOA is not acting within the guidelines of the contract that they signed.
Reasons that HOAs Often Act Outside of Their Own Rules
Many HOAs are made up of volunteers who have little to no experience in operations that are guided by complex agreements. This can lead to problems when the HOA tries to execute complex processes without the full knowledge of what these processes require. It can be easy to overlook requirements within the rules when they are complicated, and this can lead to issues that could have been avoided with better training and knowledge about the way that the law works in relation to HOAs.
Whether the knowledge of the HOA is incomplete, they cannot act against the law. They need to enforce the rules as described in the guidelines, and they need to enforce them in the way that the guidelines require. The covenants of your HOA are legally-binding, and they must be followed by everyone who has signed the HOA contract. This includes the board of directors and all HOA members who take action on the part of the HOA.
HOA board members can sometimes have their own agendas as well, and these might be linked with prejudice and other kinds of bias that are not allowed. If you believe that your HOA is acting against specific people in the neighborhoods based on prejudice or specific personal grievances, this is a legal matter that also concerns racial bias. These kinds of issues can be quite common in some areas of Florida where neighborhoods have changed over the years since an HOA was put in place.
All of these different reasons for the abuse of the HOA contract are not legal, and you and your neighbors do not have to tolerate these actions when they are taken by your HOA. Despite the fact that the HOA has some legal governance rights to your neighborhood, they are not entitled to act as the law or to exclude people from living in the neighborhood based on bias and prejudice.
Issues with violation of the HOA relationships with homeowners can be due to ignorance and lack of experience, but also to larger social issues that also need to be addressed. There are usually requirements within the language of all HOA covenants that forbid actions that are based on discrimination, but that does not mean that some HOA boards take these actions despite their illegal nature.
Can the HOA Lien a Home?
There are some instances where an HOA will have the right to lien a home. These kinds of actions are provided for by Florida law, but this kind of action has to be taken very carefully. There are specific situations that allow for the HOA to take this action against a homeowner, but the homeowner cannot have a lien placed against them if they are not in violation of the covenant under specific conditions. There are many complications to the process of an HOA placing a lien on a property, and HOA board members should be careful about acting without prejudice and precisely within the guidelines and limits of Florida law.
This is one of the situations where a lawyer can be required to help attend to a lien situation. If the lien should not have been placed, your lawyer will have to work with the HOA and the county to have it lifted and removed from your credit report and personal records. This can be a complex process and you should not try to go it alone with this kind of process.
Which Kinds of Things Could You Sue Your HOA Over
There are various actions that an HOA can take that are not legally acceptable. These actions can lead to legal action with the help of a lawyer on your side. In many disputes with HOA boards, there are many voices that are opposed to the demands of homeowners, which is why having a legal expert involved in the situation can make such a big difference.
HOA boards are required to take care of specific tasks for the homeowners in their neighborhood, but they cannot act in any way that is in violation of the covenants of the neighborhood or Florida law. These actions can include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to care for common areas
- Failure to address homeowners’ concerns
- Failure to address nuisance behavior
- Failure to follow election or meeting requirements
- Failure to treat all HOA members equitably
- Failure to handle HOA business with equal treatment for all residents of the community
- Failure to defend HOA member rights
- Failure to follow the law outside of the HOA covenants
The covenants are laid out to make it possible for the HOA to govern fairly, and the covenants can easily be used to guide discipline and prove that the HOA is not acting as it should. There are few relationships that are as cut and dried as the HOA/community resident relationship. The contract that everyone has signed lays out all the consequences for inaction or incorrect decision-making on the part of either party. A legal team can help those who are being treated improperly to secure redress for these wrongs, and the document that governs the HOA relationship is often used as the foundation for this legal support.
How Can an HOA Lawyer Help?
A lawyer who is familiar with HOA law and covenants can help to support homeowners who have been wronged by the HOA that governs their community. The legal team who takes on this kind of case will look over the HOA’s covenants and determine where illegal actions were taken. The evidence for the case will be founded upon the HOA covenants and their guidelines. There are legal requirements in the state of Florida that dictate how these guidelines and covenants can be written. These guidelines will need to have been followed when the HOA was created, and they serve as the means to defend the residents of the community who have been wronged.
A skilled lawyer will be able to identify all of the various areas where these legal requirements might have been overlooked or might even have been left out of the covenant document that was used to create the neighborhood in the first place. Being able to identify these wrongs by name and legal precedent is a much more effective way of addressing concerns to do with an HOA and its behavior.
While there are typically forms of redress that are laid out in the HOA covenant document that can be taken by the residents on their own, it is common for these options to be insufficient to effect the change needed. When the covenants themselves are not written in a legal manner, a lawyer will always need to be involved in any case where the goal is to get the covenant corrected.
Working With a Skilled Lawyer Matters
When you live in an HOA-managed neighborhood, both you and the HOA have agreed to follow the rules that are laid out in the covenants. If your HOA is not acting in accordance with the covenants of your neighborhood, you might need to seek the support of a lawyer to help address the situation. If the covenants need to be adjusted or corrected, or the HOA is unresponsive to your requests to address ongoing issues, a lawyer can make a big impact on your ability to create change and address wrongs.
HOA covenants are legally-binding, and you need to be sure that residents, as well as HOA board members, are following the covenants to the letter when there are disputes or issues that need to be resolved. The HOA is also required to attend to common areas and take care of concerns from residents. When these essentials are not being taken care of, you need to reach out to the skilled team at Lopez Law. We have years of experience working on HOA-related cases, and we can make sure that you and your neighbors are not being treated in an illegal way by your HOA.
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Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!
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