Homeowner and Condominium Association (HOA and COA) Law

Homeowner and Condominium Association (HOA and COA) Law

Homeowner and Condominium Associations (HOA and COA) are self-governing entities with their own rules and regulations.

Oftentimes, issues arise between associations and its owners. Among the common areas of dispute is the failure of members to pay dues and the enforcement of the association’s by-laws and rules, including nuisance rules.

As a board member or property manager of an association, counsel is often necessary to assist in any of the legal disputes that may arise.

To find out how we can assist you in handling legal matters related to community associations, please reach out to Favret Carriere Cronvich.

Below are some of the common issues our lawyers handle for Homeowner and Condominium Associations.

Liens

Associations have the power to place a lien on the property of a delinquent owner. Delinquency occurs when an owner fails to pay the dues or special assessments timely.

Dues – In order to remain in a homeowner or condominium association, homeowners or unit owners must pay their monthly dues.

These dues are generally used for upkeep and maintenance. Examples are as follows:

  • Landscaping
  • Maintenance for common facilities such as pools, parking lots, fences and workout rooms
  • Insurance
  • Roof and exterior repairs
  • Employees
  • Property Management

The dues are paid on a monthly (or another specified period of time) basis and are calculated based on how the association has divided up the total budget and costs among individual members.

Special Assessments –  if a situation arises where the costs of a major repair, unexpected expense or improvement are not covered by the budget of the association, special assessments can be levied against its members in order to raise the necessary funds.

When a lien is filed against a property, the owner won’t be able to refinance or sell without addressing that lien. The owner will also be held liable for late charges, interest, attorney fees and court costs. The property can also be foreclosed and sold to pay off the debt, if necessary.

By failing to pay dues, delinquent owners are placing a burden on an association’s budget and fellow owners.  If your association has a legal issue, please contact us for a free consultation.

Collections

When a homeowner fails to pay their dues, it is time for the collections process to start.

Collections and maintaining order within an association is the responsibility of the Board. Moreover, a strong Board that enforces its rules creates a more pleasant environment for its owners.

As you move towards in collecting from a delinquent owner, you must ensure that you have the proper documentation to prove your claim and that the associations documents were strictly followed. Some essential documents to prove an association claim are as follows:

  • Homeowner Association or Condominium Documents filed in records; and
  • Evidence that the homeowner did not pay their fees (i.e. ledger).

If you are dealing with a delinquent owner, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Insurance Claims

Many associations have insurance policies that cover common areas. While individual members often still need individual insurance policies for their properties, general insurance policies are required to cover property damages and potential injuries on the property.

Often times, disputes arise between the association, owner, and the insurance company regarding responsibility of damages.

For example, damages from a storm or a fire can be disputed by the insurance company. Then, the confusion over the responsibility for repairs can lead to friction between owners and the association.

If your association is involved in damage to its property, please contact us for a free consultation.

Contract Documents

Contract documents play a big part in the functioning of a homeowner and condominium association.

Contracts control the relationship of the association and its members as well asits relationship with contractors and vendors.

For example, the following documents act as legally binding contracts between the association and the owner:

  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions
  • Bylaws
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Rules and Regulations

If you have questions about homeowner or condominium documents, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Why Obtain Legal Representation

While rules and regulations can help mitigate some disputes, it isn’t always possible to avoid every conflict. Unfortunately some associations have owners who chose to violate the rules.

When it comes to legal matters, some homeowners are going to aggressively dispute legal enforcement such as liens, foreclosures, and collections.

Don’t face a legal battle against an owner alone.

We can provide advice, options, and guidance on matters facing the association.

By putting our experience to use, we will be proactive in helping handle your disputes.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation.


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