Living in a community governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association (COA) can have many advantages, such as amenities and management. Still, it can also come with challenges, such as adhering to rules you may disagree with. One of the most frustrating things you may encounter is selective enforcement by your HOA or COA. This form of HOA dispute occurs when an HOA or COA chooses to enforce some rules and not others, usually against certain homeowners, and it can be challenging to know what to do. In this blog post, we will discuss ways you can navigate selective enforcement by HOAs and COAs as a homeowner or condominium owner.
Review The HOA Or COA’s Governing Documents
Before you purchase your home, you should have been given a copy of the HOA or COA’s governing documents. If you don’t have a copy, request one from your HOA or COA. Review it closely; this is the most crucial document to dictate how you and the HOA interact. Specifically, look for sections that outline the association’s powers and responsibilities, the rules and regulations that homeowners must follow, and the process for addressing violations. Knowing these documents will help you to identify any areas of selective enforcement in your community.
Gather Evidence And Document Everything
This tip is crucial in building a case against selective enforcement. If you notice that your HOA or COA only enforces rules against certain residents or if you are being explicitly targeted, document everything. Take pictures or video recordings of the selective enforcement or get statements and/or affidavits from witnesses. Ensure you have all the details of the violations, including dates, frequency, and the residents who received violations. The evidence you gather will be essential for presenting a case against selective enforcement.
Selective enforcement often leads to disputes between residents and the HOA or COA. If you find yourself in this situation, requesting mediation may be a practical solution. Many HOAs and COAs provide a mediation process for disputes. You can resolve your issue peacefully and respectfully during mediation while avoiding expensive litigation.
Hire A Lawyer
Consider hiring a lawyer if mediation isn’t practical or the issue is too severe. A legal professional can help you understand your rights and provide options for taking legal action. They can help you gather evidence and present your case in court, if necessary. Hiring a lawyer can be expensive, so it is essential to determine if the potential result outweighs the cost before proceeding.
Raise The Issue In HOA or COA Meetings
Another approach you can take is to start raising the issue of selective enforcement at HOA or COA meetings. This is an opportunity to bring attention to the case and the negative impact it can have on residents. Engage with the other homeowners in your community and ask if they have also experienced selective enforcement. If many homeowners bring up the same issue, the HOA or COA may begin to take the case more seriously and make the necessary changes.
Selective enforcement by HOAs and COAs can be a frustrating experience for homeowners. However, there are ways to navigate it with relative ease. Begin by reviewing the HOA or COA’s governing documents, gathering evidence and documenting everything, requesting mediation, hiring a lawyer, and raising the issue in HOA or COA meetings. With these tips, you can stand up for your rights as a homeowner and make sure that your HOA or COA stays within the boundaries of its authority while helping you make your house a good home. If you need help with your selective enforcement issue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with HOA and condominium attorneys at the Perez Mayoral, P.A. law firm for a free case review today.