5 Reasons Your HOA Might get Sued!



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If residents are not happy with the homeowner’s association (HOA) or housing development, you may be subject to a lawsuit.

When residents move into a condo or housing development, they may have been asked to read and sign an elaborately worded document called the “Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions” (CC&Rs).

Generally, CC&Rs define what residents can and cannot do in and around their home. If residents violate these rules, they could potentially be sued by the HOA, forced to move out, or forced to conform.

However, the relationship between the HOA or housing development is not a one-way street for lawsuits. Just as they can potentially sue you, you can also sue them.

Here are the five most common reasons why an HOA may get sued:

  1. Harassment or discrimination. An HOA/housing development is free to establish a lot of rules. However, if these rules are based on “protected characteristics” like a resident’s race, marital status, the number of kids they have, etc., the rules may not be allowed under housing discrimination laws.
  2. Contract violations. The CC&Rs are essentially a contract. Just as residents are required to follow the rules, the HOA should also follow its own rules. So, if the HOA decides to install a gym above the penthouse floor, or add a noisy business on the mezzanine, residents may be able to sue to enforce their rights if these violate the HOA’s contract.
  3. Misappropriation of funds. Every month, residents pay hundreds of dollars to the HOA. But, do you where this money is going? If the HOA makes outlays to expensive board lunches or unnecessary attorney’s fees, resident’s may be able to take legal action to stop it.
  4. Remodeling disputes. A resident may want to add a bedroom to their condo, but the HOA may rule against them. The CC&Rs, however, is silent on the issue. If the HOA is unwilling to accommodate the request, a resident may decide to sue to see if they can remodel their home the way they’d like.
  5. Repairs. Residents are paying your HOA dues for a reason. If their HOA is slow in making necessary repairs, a lawsuit (or a threat of one) can be used to spur action or accountability on behalf of the HOA.

An HOA of a condo or housing development generally has the duty to represent the best interest of all tenants or homeowners in the association. But if the HOA fails to do its job, it could be targeted by a lawsuit. See how we can help your board against lawsuits – contact us today for more information on our legal services for condominiums and homeowners’ associations. The experienced HOA attorneys at Stevens & Goldwyn, PA can help protect your HOA.

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