A Homeowners Association (HOA) is very beneficial to some communities. Many HOA’s can prove to be very difficult and learning a few tips in how to deal with an HOA will make life easier for all involved.
Know The Bylaws:
Thoroughly read all the bylaws and rules that have been set forth by the HOA. As a homeowner, know what is allowed in your home or yard. Knowledge offers an easier method of dealing with your HOA. Determine if you need permission to paint or put up a fence, the HOA will leave you alone if you follow the rules.
Consider Your Approach:
If your HOA has cited you for a rule infraction, carefully consider your approach to them. A level and straight forward approach will hold more value than if you go to the meeting in attack mode. Most HOA’s meet once a month, inform them that you have an issue to discuss and ask for a few minutes of their time. Plan in advance what you want accomplished at the meeting and have documentation to back up your claim.
Pay Your Dues:
Paying HOA dues on time allows you better leverage. A homeowner that quits paying monthly dues will not be taken seriously and may be at risk for losing their home. If there is an issue that you disagree with, continue to pay your dues and work to find a resolution.
Dealing with an overbearing HOA is easier if you get involved. Go to meetings and read the monthly newsletter to stay informed of any issues. You will be apprised of any proposed changes at a meeting. Speak up and offer a differing opinion, this may allow the HOA to see the issue from a different viewpoint. If you do not approve of the way the HOA is headed, join the board. You will have more success changing the bylaws, if you are part of the HOA committee.
Learn Your Legal Rights:
If you or others have been fined for an infraction of the rules, learn your rights. Knowing the legal method of dealing with your HOA will help make the process go smoother. If the HOA will not listen to reason, contact an attorney to determine what course of action should be taken next. An attorney may send a letter to nudge the HOA into working through the issue. Filing a lawsuit should be the last resort in dealing with an overbearing HOA but may prove to be necessary for resolution of the issue.