HOAs: Know What Homeowners Can Do and Contest

When homeowners’ properties are situated within a community or development that’s managed and operated by a homeowners association, there are a set number of rules they need to abide by. These rules are contained in various governing documents meant to provide guidance on the expectations of homeownership within that association. However, these documents also point out the homeowners’ rights against HOA.

If a homeowner feels like they have been hit with a fine or warning that isn’t merited, they have the right to contest that decision. And while an HOA’s rules can be restrictive in some cases, they are in fact limited by state and local laws, which come with special sections baked in to limit the actions of HOAs.

Rules of an HOA Community: A Brief Look

An HOA can create and enforce a wide range of documents, such as founding bylaws, covenants, conditions, and restrictions (also known as CC&Rs), and a less formal package of rules and regulations for a community.

When someone buys a home in an HOA community, they are basically agreeing to abide by these rules. From when loud music can be played to where cars can be parked to hanging laundry over a balcony, these rules are meant to set a standard for the entire community.

Some members may think these rules are too restrictive or even too specific, but they are meant to uphold a community’s personality and aesthetics as well as cut down the possibility of a small portion of homeowners encroaching on the livability of others in some ways.

Voting Rights to Change Rules

Homeowners do have the opportunity to change the way an HOA is governed, including what rules it sets up. If homeowners feel there are rules governing them that are unfair, discriminatory or favoring others, they have it within their right to take action and vote to change the rules.

First, the homeowners can start by reading an HOA’s bylaws and CC&Rs, which can outline rules and procedures for proposing and passing any amendments. For example, they could show what is required to pursue an amendment, such as requiring a certain amount of homeowners to attend an HOA meeting or the minimum number of votes needed to be cast in favor of a change.

Contesting Fees and Assessments

A homeowners association usually requires homeowners to pay monthly fees. These fees are then turned around and used to cover the cost of daily duties like repairs and maintaining the community property. Fees may go toward landscaping during the summer and seasonal services in the fall and winter to clean up leaves and snow. The HOA may also tack on additional assessments in case of unexpected expenses that can come up at any time that affect the community. This can be illustrated in taking care of flood damage after a storm, especially if the HOA had no flood insurance to begin with.

And speaking of insurance, as homeowners within an HOA, they have the right to question why certain charges of being enforced. If someone feels they have a case against an HOA for wrongful fees or discrimination in some way, they can not only appeal but feel like they have grounds to sue or make a legal claim against an HOA. This is where a comprehensive HOA insurance plan is able to protect an association against claims. Even if a lawsuit is quashed, it can be costly to take care of court and legal fees. Having HOA insurance will help to pay for those items.

About Kevin Davis Insurance Services

For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.