This Christmas, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with your homeowner’s association (“HOA”). But like other things in life, s–tuff happens. And when it does, you need to know the best way to handle it.
So if you are in a conflict with your HOA, here are two things for you to consider to keep the conflict from becoming an out-and-out war.
1. Be Nice
Here’s the thing. When you purchased your condominium, townhome or house, you agreed to abide by the association’s rules. One of the reasons you moved in is probably because you wanted someone else to be responsible for maintaining the property and keeping everything looking nice and uniform. And you agreed to pay monthly dues (fees) for this, and fines if you violated the rules.
So, having agreed to all of this, if you find yourself on the fighting end of a dues payment or rule violation, try not to make the situation worse by being arrogant or confrontational.
If you receive a notice that your dues are in arrears, or that you have violated a rule, the first thing you should do is call and ask for a face-to-face meeting. Turn on your Southern charm before you get there and explain the situation and plead your case. If an error was made, ask for clarification – in writing – about exactly which rule the board believes was violated, and what action they want to take to resolve it.
If you did something wrong, apologize.
Coming in fighting mad, raising your voice, or using foul language is only going to make things worse. So do your best to stay calm and pleasant. If necessary, contact counsel before you attend the meeting.
2. Don’t Stop Paying Your Dues
Regardless of what you are arguing about with your HOA (or Condominium Association “COA”) don’t stop paying your dues or any late charges that may have been assessed against you.
Otherwise you run the serious risk of having unpaid dues and late charges pile up. These costs can escalate quickly (especially if the HOA starts adding attorney’s fees into the mix depending on how far your fight progresses) and unpaid dues can lead to the HOA putting a lien on your property, which could ultimately lead to foreclosure. If you stop paying your dues, you will only make the matter far worse.
Finally, if you are in a conflict with your HOA and don’t know what to do, seek competent legal advice.
Affordable Experienced Legal Representation
If you find yourself in a conflict with your HOA or if you are an association having trouble with your members, contact us. At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, our practice is concentrated on real estate and only real estate. Our experienced real estate attorneys can guide you and give you the legal advice you need, when you need it. With offices in Cumming, Georgia, we serve Atlanta and a number of the surrounding counties including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. You can contact us here or call us at 770-888-7707 to schedule your free phone consultation.