Owning a home is a dream come true but not without challenges. One of the biggest hurdles homeowners and condominium owners face is dealing with Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and Condominium Associations (COAs). These associations are meant to help maintain the value and appearance of the community, but they can also create legal challenges for homeowners. This blog post will explore the top legal challenges homeowners and condominium owners face in dealing with HOAs and COAs.
Enforcement of Rules and Restrictions
HOAs and COAs have rules in place to protect the value and appearance of the community. However, some laws can be restrictive and may not align with homeowners’ preferences. If a homeowner violates these rules, the HOA/COA can fine or take legal action against them. HOA disputes can be challenging for homeowners who believe the rules are unreasonable or feel the association has overreached its authority.
Disputes over Common Areas
Common areas, such as playgrounds, pools, and parking lots, are owned by the association and are typically maintained using funds collected from homeowners. Disputes can arise when homeowners disagree on how these areas should be used or maintained. For example, a condo owner may disagree with the association’s decision to close the pool during a renovation. A homeowner may want to use the common area for a party, but their request is denied. These disputes can become legal battles, with homeowners seeking court intervention to enforce their rights.
Mismanagement of Funds
HOAs and COAs collect fees from homeowners to pay for maintenance, repairs, and other expenses. Homeowners trust that their money is managed responsibly, but this is not always true. Mismanagement of funds can lead to disputes and legal challenges. For example, suppose the association spends the collected fees on non-approved expenses, such as staff bonuses or lavish parties. In that case, homeowners may take legal action to stop this misuse of money.
Discrimination and Fair Housing Violations
HOAs and COAs should not discriminate against residents based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. Discriminatory practices can include limiting access to amenities, imposing fees on specific groups, or enforcing rules that disproportionately affect certain residents. Homeowners who feel unfairly targeted can take legal action to stop this discrimination.
Failure to Maintain and Repair Common Areas
HOAs and COAs are responsible for maintaining and repairing common areas, such as roofs, pipes, walls, elevators, and stairwells. Failure to do so can lead to property damage, accidents, and injuries, leaving homeowners damaged. Homeowners may take legal action against the association for failing to maintain and repair common areas.
Dealing with HOAs and COAs can be challenging, but homeowners have rights. If you’re facing legal challenges related to your HOA or COA, contact Perez Mayoral, P.A. Our skilled HOA attorneys and condominium attorneys have extensive experience representing homeowners and condominium owners in disputes against their associations. We understand the complexities of Florida’s HOA laws and have a history of successful outcomes. Let us help you resolve your case and get back to enjoying your home. Contact our law firm today for a free case review.