How HOA boards should handle a lawsuit

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2023 | Property Owners Association Law

The relationship between an HOA (homeowner association) board and the actual homeowner is fairly straightforward. However, issues can arise when property owners believe that their HOA does not have their community’s best interests in mind or fails to fulfill their obligations. While preventing every potential lawsuit may be impossible, HOA boards can protect themselves by understanding the common reasons homeowners take legal action and how to handle a pending lawsuit.

Why do homeowners sue HOA boards?

Homeowner associations are responsible for outlining the regulations and guidelines for property owners in their community. When a homeowner feels they have wrongfully received a violation notice or had their request denied, they could decide to file a lawsuit. Some of the most common lawsuits filed against HOA boards are for the following reasons:

  • Failing to make repairs: Property owners make routine payments to HOA boards to fund community upkeep and various repairs. If a homeowner feels their association has not kept up with the required repairs, they may take legal action.
  • Embezzling funds: If homeowners believe their dues are not used to better their community, they may look into the matter and file a lawsuit if the funds are misappropriated.
  • Rejecting a remodeling request: Sometimes, homeowners may want to remodel the interior or exterior of their home. If they feel their request coincides with the community guidelines, they could pursue legal action to remedy the situation.

How should HOA boards respond to a lawsuit?

When HOA boards receive notice of a lawsuit, they should immediately reach out to an attorney and their insurance provider. While it is true that the majority of lawsuits filed against HOA boards do not go to court, homeowner associations should additionally feel confident if their actions fall within the community regulations. Facing a lawsuit is never beneficial or positive, but HOA boards who have acted in the community’s interests and have an attorney’s support should feel confident about any potential legal proceedings.