Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Resolving the many types of homeowners’ association disputes

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. 

 Image source: thinkhomesandland.com

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. 

   Image source: quickenloans.com

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. 

 Olympia Law P.C., provides arbitration and legal representation for homeowners in HOA disputes. Visit this website for more information on the firm and its practice areas.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Get Everyone Paid: How Property Owners Can Prevent the Mechanic’s Lien

Mechanic's liens are a headache for all entities involved in a real estate project. Unpaid workers must contend not only with lost wages but the possibility of dealing with an equally irked homeowner, who is now legally obligated to pay for a service twice. Mechanic's liens are confusing affairs and homeowners who receive them often risk foreclosure on their homes if the case is not adequately handled.

Careful management of a construction project can reduce the likelihood of an unwanted lien. Preventing liens starts with ensuring payment for both the main contractor and the subcontractors, with ample documentation of the payments to prevent liens being wrongfully sent to the property owner.


Image source: multibriefs.com

One method is to write a series of checks, made out jointly to the general contractor and the particular subcontractor or supplier, which would only be cashed if the ultimate beneficiary endorses it. This ensures that the subcontractor or supplier gets paid. Another way is to have the contractors take a lien waiver from every person the contractor is responsible for paying. In many states, such a waiver is needed before a contractor can even receive additional payments.


Image source: fundinggates.com

Homeowners should also take the opportunity to ensure the credibility of the contractors they hire to prevent any underhanded actions that could leave them with a lien. Homeowners should hire only licensed contractors and check if their contractor has had a history of litigation.

Olympia Law, P.C. provides representation for a broad range of business, real estate, and personal injury cases. Visit this website to learn more about the practice.