HOA’s role in structural changes

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Property Owners Association Law

Homeowners associations (HOAs) take the lead in fostering a sense of shared responsibility and consistency in their communities. However, conflicts may occur when owners renovate or modify their homes without proper permits. Understanding the HOA’s role in situations like these can help navigate a smooth resolution in these circumstances.

Protecting property values and community standards

HOAs have the right to regulate renovations made on the exterior of homes to keep a harmonious appearance in the neighborhood. Guidelines are in place to ensure changes will align with the established architectural style. By keeping home exteriors uniform, a HOA helps maintain the community’s aesthetic and real estate values.

Ensuring structural safety and code compliance

More than its visual values, certain modifications can pose structural risks. Structural changes, such as adding a second story or modifying load-bearing walls, must comply with Texas building codes. While not a building inspector, the HOA often has access to qualified professionals who can review proposed house plans and make sure these adhere to state safety regulations.

Resolving disputes amicably

The HOA’s role extends beyond simply enforcing rules. If a property owner can’t see eye-to-eye with a HOA over construction or renovation projects, the two can take their dispute to court. Texas law mandates a fair and transparent process involving mediation or a hearing before a designated committee. Through these processes, the homeowner and the HOA can present their cases. Hearings allow a neutral party to find a resolution that adheres to the governing documents and Texas law.

It’s important to understand that the HOA’s role isn’t to be an adversary. It acts on behalf of the entire community, ensuring the well-being and continued value of everyone’s property.

While adhering to established procedures and pursuing solutions within the framework of the HOA’s governing documents can be an efficient course of action, some disagreements may escalate to a legal dispute. In such cases, the homeowner and the HOA are entitled to seek legal counsel.