What Happens if an HOA Does Not Maintain Common Areas

For homeowners living within an HOA, there is an expectation of how operations are run. From communication to billing to maintenance, HOA members in the community expect transparency at all levels. And when it comes to caring for common areas, there could be a case to be had against an HOA if it’s not keeping those areas well maintained. In fact, HOA maintenance is one of the top reasons why HOAs get sued.

From elevators in a building to fitness rooms with broken machines to a park with overgrown grass, maintenance is expected by those who live in an HOA setting. And it’s those same people who can take action against an HOA to make it maintain the community and keep the surroundings clean and clear. Here are some of those actions:

Removing HOA Board Members

The homeowner rights against HOA listed above can lay the groundwork and make the case for removing an HOA board member or replacing the entire board altogether. If a community member discovers that the HOA is not keeping its end of the bargain with maintenance, they can consider taking steps to have members removed or bring claims of negligence against directors. In this case, for HOA members, it’s important that they invest in directors and officers insurance, which can provide financial protection for HOA leaders.

The procedures that are required to remove a board member are set forth in the HOA’s governing documents and represents a slow and complex process. It requires the vote of the other members and could actually end up not moving forward, but some HOA community members are determined to move forward with their claims.

HOA’s Obligations and Powers

Homeowners can look at the governing documents of an HOA, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, conditions, restrictions, and easements, as well as rules and regulations. From here, homeowners can determine that in most developments, maintaining, repairing, and replacing commons areas are among an HOA’s major duties.

Depending on the community amenities, the maintenance responsibilities may include heating and lighting, maintaining community pools, and taking care of landscaping. Also, the HOA might also need to take care of repairs like broken fitness equipment and unsafe elevators. In most cases, the governing documents require the HOA to take on an annual budget that lays out the anticipated costs to keep the common areas well maintained. The HOA usually collects periodic dues from each homeowner to pay for these costs.

Changing Governing Documents

Under the governing documents of an HOA, homeowners may discover that the HOA is unable to maintain the common areas because of problems with its powers. If an HOA doesn’t have the power to hire a painting contractor, they may not be able to get a clubhouse painted, for instance. In a case like this, amending the governing documents might be a choice. If it’s a matter of giving the HOA more power to keep the common areas maintained, amending the documents can be pursued.

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.