Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are meant to help the residents that live within a common area such as a condominium, apartment complex, townhomes, or a single-family subdivision. However, sometimes disputes arise over dues, collection actions, and bylaw violations, to name a few. When disputes occur, the parties involved often have to enter into litigation to allow the court to resolve the dispute.
An experienced HOA dispute lawyer from Beth Santilli Law in Mt. Pleasant, SC can represent the members of the association or the association itself when they have a dispute with a member. Contact us today to request a consultation.
What is an HOA?
An HOA is an organization that outlines and enforces rules for the units of a residential complex or subdivision. All residents and properties within the organization’s scope must comply with those rules. An HOA is also typically responsible for providing amenities and services as well as maintaining the property. To help with the costs associated with these duties, an HOA requires their members to pay HOA fees.
Pros & Cons of HOAs
Many people will not live in a property governed by an HOA because they have heard of the disadvantages they can have for homeowners. Even so, there are many benefits to HOAs as well.
– They provide amenities
– They reduce your responsibilities for the property
– They prevent neglect and property decline
In addition to the fees that are required as a member of the HOA, these associations also have many rights over you and your home. HOAs have the right to:
– Place a mechanics’ lien on your home to collect debts
– Ask you for assessments when their cash reserve does not cover an expense
– Limit your ability to rent the space
Governing Documents of HOA
Although HOAs have many rights, they must also follow certain laws outlined by South Carolina law. The South Carolina Homeowners Association Act is the main piece of legislation that governs HOAs, outlining the rights they have, as well as their legal obligations. However, when an HOA violates the South Carolina Fair Housing Law, it may also be treated as an HOA dispute.
Types of Disputes that Beth Santilli Law Can Help With
Unfortunately, there are many different types of HOA disputes. The most common of these include:
– Failure to repair common areas, such as when an HOA does not fix a broken stairway or handrail and someone becomes injured
– Harassment, such as when an HOA negatively focuses on a specific member or members
– Selective enforcement, or refusing to levy penalties on certain members while imposing penalties on others for the same violation
– Negligence, which refers to any careless act that causes a member harm
Another common type of HOA dispute involves the violation of a fiduciary responsibility. There are many ways an HOA can violate a fiduciary relationship, including:
– Failing to abide by the requirements for an election
– Being unable to verify association funds and what they were spent on
– Failing to recognize the due process rights of homeowners
– Refusing to manage the HOA in a manner that is honest and transparent
Get Legal Help Today
HOAs and property owners should be able to work together in the interest of both parties. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you are involved in a dispute with your HOA or one of its members, our experienced HOA dispute lawyers are here to help.
At Beth Santilli Law, LLC, our attorneys are well-versed in the laws that govern HOAs and understand the complex relationship between property owners and HOAs. We will fight to ensure your rights are upheld and work to get you the best chance of a positive outcome. Whether you are an HOA representative or member, if you are involved in an HOA dispute, contact us today for assistance with your case.