The stereotype of the intrusive or unhelpful homeowners’ association (HOA) has been long entrenched due many well-known disputes a homeowner can potentially get into that counteract whatever benefit they would've gained from joining. These differences are so common that not a few people would choose to move to a neighborhood without an HOA and look for homes elsewhere.
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Most HOA disputes familiar to laypersons are the obstructive rulings that restrict homeowners' ability to modify their residences as they see fit. In theory, such regulations are there to preserve the neighborhood aesthetic and ostensibly keep land values from dropping as a result. In practice, however, this can range from the sensible to the unreasonable. In many cases, HOA board members have been known to make petty rulings that seem to defy reason.
To resolve this, the homeowner should first be familiar with the actual HOA rules and covenants and stay updated on any new rulings as they appear. Members of the board may occasionally misinterpret rules, and a re-reading of the rules may land for the homeowner. Likewise, homeowners can take a proactive stand and join HOA meetings to take a stand against unreasonable new rules. In extreme cases, legal action can be sought.
Fees are another common cause of conflict. It is best for homeowners to pay fines incurred during a dispute, even if there is cause for contention. This is to pre-empt the arrival of additional penalties and fees that may accrue while the fine is being contested.
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Homeowners’ associations are grounded on acting on the welfare of the community and often collect dues to maintain common facilities. Usually, HOAs also contain a fund for the purpose of covering expenses. There are cases, however, when association board members would abuse these resources, which could require litigation to remove the board from their positions.