Many Florida residents live in communities where homeowners pay monthly fees and other costs to the governing entity that enforces rules for their subdivision or planned neighborhood. When disputes arise between one or more homeowners and the organization that governs the housing community, it can be difficult to resolve the issues, especially if homeowners feel that their Homeowners Association is not being transparent about finances or other important matters.
There is a battle brewing in another state between numerous residents and their HOA officials. The residents are upset that they have been unable to obtain information regarding new construction that is scheduled in the community. One resident recently told legislators that the new buildings have already been approved yet residents have not been given any information, even when they have requested it multiple times.
Will legislators enact new laws to enforce HOA transparency?
In North Carolina, where the dispute has arisen, an HOA must register as a non-profit organization. The same is true for HOAs in Florida. The resident who appealed to legislators to enact laws to enforce transparency said that if HOAs are allowed to conduct themselves as “secret societies” under the protection of their corporate management companies, then they should have to register as a business instead of a non-profit organization.
A woman speaking on behalf of an HOA lobbying group said the problem may not be lack of transparency but lack of effort to obtain information when it becomes available. She further stated that HOAs throughout the state are required to hold annual meetings that are open for comment from members. The House Select Committee on Homeowners’ Associations in North Carolina will be making recommendations regarding these issues to the General Assembly sometime after their meeting in early February. If there are Florida homeowners struggling to resolve a similar HOA dispute, they can seek counsel by scheduling a meeting with an attorney with experience in HOA litigation.