Andy Sirkin | 12-06-2013
Do HOA decisions need to adhere to any standards?
Each homeowners association decision must adhere to the following standards:
- It must be within the scope of the association’s authority under the governing documents and the law;
- It must be based upon a reasonable investigation; - It must be intended to serve the best interests of the association and the owners as a group;
- It must be made in good faith; and
Additional standards may apply for specific types of decisions such as owner discipline or alteration approvals. Where the association has formally established policies or procedures, they must be uniformly applied and followed. But the fact that the association has permitted or approved a certain activity or alteration by a particular owner at one time does not mean that the association must permit or approve that same activity by the same or a different owner at a later time. In evaluating an association decision for compliance with these standards, the courts will defer to the board’s authority and presumed expertise. Is there a government agency with authority over HOA activities?\ There is no governmental agency with authority to oversee homeowners associations. Association duties and standards must be enforced by owners and lenders through the court system or through some alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation or arbitration.
How can an owner change or challenge an HOA decision?
The owner should begin by attempting to discuss the matter with the president, a director, committee chair or property manager. If this attempt does not yield satisfactory results, the owner should attend a board meeting or call an owner meeting to discuss the problem with the other owners. If the owner wishes to pursue the matter further, he/she should consult an attorney.
When the HOA needs to get legal advice in order to respond to an owner, can it charge the owner for attorney’s fees?
A homeowner’s association is not entitled to recover its attorneys fees from an owner unless it prevails in a court proceeding or arbitration involving the enforcement of the governing documents.Back to News | View Related Link
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