The 5 most common HOA disputes

Homeowners’ associations can be helpful because they protect the value of property and maintain a nice neighborhood. However, they can also be frustrating when they overstep or do something that you feel isn’t right.

There are all kinds of disputes that might result in issues with an HOA, such as:

  1. Excessive barking by pets
  2. Unruly behavior by your children
  3. Visual nuisances
  4. Noise complaints
  5. Property maintenance issues

Any of these problems can result in big issues with your HOA.

What can you do if the HOA receives a complaint about you?

It’s possible that your HOA could receive a complaint from a neighbor about your actions (or inactions). For example, they might complain that your grass looks too long or that your pets bark too much when they’re outside.

If there is a reasonable request, such as taking action to minimize barking, you may want to do so and try to resolve the dispute amicably. If the request isn’t reasonable, such as complaining about your children playing outside, then it’s reasonable to discuss the problem with the HOA and to try to resolve the dispute in another way. The HOA board may need to intervene, for instance, if a neighbor keeps reporting you despite doing nothing wrong.

HOAs can fine people or take other actions against them for violating bylaws. If they attempt to do this to you, you need to know your legal options.

There is an opportunity to negotiate

In most cases, there will be an opportunity to negotiate any kind of issue that arises in your HOA. You will be able to meet with the board, for example, and present your side of an argument. An HOA is supposed to be neutral, so it should listen to what you have to say and determine if there is reason to make an exception for certain actions or if certain remedies will be enough.

Getting into a long-standing conflict with your HOA is not good, so you may want to think about discussing your case with someone with legal knowledge. Having someone on your side to tell you your rights as well as the HOA’s rights and responsibilities can help you determine if you have a strong case against the HOA’s actions.