The role of a homeowners’ association is to regulate certain matters within a Florida community, from maintenance of common areas to enforcement of regulations. This is done with the intent of maintaining the appearance of a neighborhood and protecting the property value of homes in the neighborhood. Disputes can sometimes arise when there is a conflict over who is responsible for certain areas, such as sidewalks.
Removal of trees and maintenance of public areas
The authority and responsibility of an HOA depends on the specific community terms. In one neighborhood, there are complications regarding whether the city or the HOA is responsible for sidewalks in the neighborhood that are damaged by the roots of a sycamore tree. The city estimates approximately $1 million in damages, an amount that averages to around $2,500 per homeowner within the community.
While the city owns the sidewalks, the repairs may be the responsibility of the neighborhood HOA. The city claims that the terms of the covenants, conditions and restrictions state that the sidewalk repair is up to the HOA. The HOA is responsible for the removal and upkeep of trees along the sidewalks, and it was an overgrown tree that caused the damage.
The cost to the homeowners
It is possible that the negligence of the HOA led to this very expensive problem. Homeowners may find it necessary to take legal action to ensure that funds are used appropriately and that necessary repairs are made in a timely manner. Florida homeowners who also have concerns about their HOAs may benefit from speaking with an attorney.