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If you're not happy with your homeowners' association (HOA) or housing development, you may be able to sue.
When you moved into a condo or housing development, you may have been asked to read and sign an elaborately worded tome called "Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions" (CC&Rs). These governing documents are typically set by the board members and board of directors. Sometimes the management company sets the rules or enforces them.
Generally, CC&Rs spell out what you can and cannot do in and outside of your home. If you violate these HOA rules, you could potentially be sued by your HOA, forced to move out, or forced to conform. The HOA community rules are used to keep the entire community looking tidy, keep property values high, and regulate things like landscaping and holiday decor.
Your relationship with your HOA or housing development is not a one-way street for lawsuits. Just as they can potentially sue you, you can also sue them.
Here are five common reasons you may want to sue your HOA:
Selective enforcement is a legal term for the homeowners’ association only following certain rules. Enforcement of the rules should apply across the board and to everyone in the community. If the HOA only enforces a particular rule or only takes action against a particular homeowner, there could be legal considerations. In some cases, they might claim rule violations against a small group of homeowners but not the entire community.
Yes, you can generally sue your HOA in small claims court if the dispute is for $10,000 or less. It is quite common to take dispute resolution to the small claims court of your state. You will have to pay filing fees and may need to represent yourself, though some attorneys will represent you for a fee.
An HOA of a condo or housing development generally has the duty to represent the best interests of all tenants or homeowners in the association. But if your HOA fails to do its job, it may be time to consult an experienced real estate lawyer near you.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.