A homeowner’s association (HOA) is the governing body of a common interest community, such as condominium complex or gated community. HOA’s have the power to enforce the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of the common interest community. If need be, an HOA can usually take noncompliant members of the association to court if need be. In some situations an individual homeowner may be able to sue the HOA.
Legal Theories for Suing an HOA
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty – an HOA has a duty to act fairly and reasonably when making decisions and taking actions that will affect the homeowners. This includes a duty to manage the financial and business affairs of the HOA with ordinary prudence.
- Negligent Care and Maintenance of Common Areas – the HOA is usually responsible for the upkeep of common areas on the property. If someone is hurt because the HOA fails to maintain the common areas, the HOA may be liable. Similarly, if the failure to maintain the common areas results in injury to an individual home within the association, the HOA may be liable.
- Violation of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions – if a HOA violates its own rules an individual homeowner may be able to sue the HOA to force it to comply with the rules.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
The legal relationship between an HOA and its individual members can be very complicated. If you have been harmed as a result of the actions or omissions of your HOA contact a real estate attorney to preserve your legal rights and remedies.