There are many neighborhoods that have a homeowners association (HOA). This association is great for many reasons and can help improve the value of the neighborhood, but it can also be difficult at times. There are many people who have had problems with their HOA to the point that they are in a lawsuit. Whether you are on the side of the association or the side of the resident, you need a good attorney. Here are some things that you should know about these kinds of lawsuits.
Who Will The Lawsuit Be Against?
The HOA is a private entity. Thus, if someone in the neighborhood is not following the rules and laws posted by the HOA and the HOA wants to make them comply, they can sue the individual on behalf of the HOA. This doesn't mean that one person, or even the president of the HOA, can do it unilaterally. It means that the whole HOA or the majority of the board feel like a lawsuit is merited. The other party then is usually one individual who is not adhering to the rules of the HOA. So you have the HOA on one side and an individual on the other side. This is the most common scenario.
Who Pays The Legal Fees?
If you belong to an HOA, you pay your dues each month. These dues help to keep up the grounds, pay for neighborhood functions, and pay for things like lawsuits. In some cases, you will be asked to pay more HOA dues because there are higher fees associated with the lawsuit, but usually the HOA has a budget set aside for these sorts of things.
The individual on the other side of the lawsuit will be responsible for their own legal fees. Additionally, each side will choose their own attorney.
Is There Any Way To Settle It Easily and Cheaply?
You can always settle a lawsuit by complying with the request of the other side, or you can drop it, by moving out. In many cases, the HOA will only fight you on the problem until you have complied with the rules. The more tricky situations come when an individual sues an HOA for something they felt was wrong and the grievance isn't as clear cut or if they are asking for a payout. In this case, it can be harder to resolve.
For more information about lawsuits involving an HOA, think about hiring an association attorney.