As long as there are homeowners associations (HOAs), there will be disputes. However, most of these disputes, when properly handled, can be resolved satisfactorily.
If you are a member of an HOA and you are embroiled in a dispute, it may be helpful not to view the HOA as your adversary. As a corporate entity, HOAs are accountable to their members and must be responsive to their needs.
One Florida lawyer who is both an attorney for an HOA and stakeholder commented, “A comprehensive dispute resolution process is critical for associations.”
Below are some tips to ensure that your HOA concerns are appropriately addressed:
Get complaints in writing
It’s one thing for a homeowner to privately (or even publicly) grouse about some tenet or rule they find objectionable or not being universally enforced. However, if that homeowner is serious enough to identify themselves as the complainant regarding the matter, it adds gravitas to the problem.
Utilize your HOA management company
Property managers may be the first point of contact for homeowners with HOA questions and complaints. Ideally, the matter will be resolved at this level.
Understand that some complaints require board action
Your property manager may lack the authority to resolve your complaint, or they may require more information. At that point, it’s likely that the issue will be taken up by the HOA board after it is entered on the agenda.
In escalating HOA matters, Florida homeowners may feel more comfortable retaining their own legal counsel to represent them in HOA complaints. That can help them ensure that their concerns will be fully addressed in any HOA dealings.