Real Estate Law:
Orlando – Kissimmee Homeowner Association Disputes Condo Association Disputes
The basic premise of an HOA is to have a board of residents oversee common areas and assure residents follow the rules. HOAs are relegated, in effect, to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood. Of course, this costs money, which is why residents are required to pay monthly or yearly fees.
And there are some great advantages to having an effective HOA. If your development needs regular maintenance and landscaping, it’s commonly up to your HOA to make effective use of your monthly dues to assure common areas are maintained.
If your subdivision or condo units have a community pool, clubhouse, or gym, the association maintains them for everyone’s use. The salaries of property managers, employees, and security personnel are usually paid through HOA fees as well.
ASSOCIATION HORROR STORIES
Good associations do a lot of good. Conversely, bad associations do a lot of bad. The court systems document tens of thousands of cases of horror stories.
Associations in Florida were given a tremendous amount of power by the legislature. And no power is greater than the associations ability to foreclosure your property. David Chico Law Group has witnessed associations take away a person’s home because of an alleged $300 arrearage in association assessments. Image that. This is your home, your castle and because you fell behind a couple hundred bucks your most important asset is stripped from you.
The Magically Increasing Debt
One of the most famous (of infamous) association trick is the take a small debt, let’s say $100 and turn that into a $5,000 debt in a year’s span. So how does this magic occur? It’s done by using the association’s power to tack on additional fees to the debt. It is very common to turn a $100 arrearage into $5,000 by doing the following:
- Increase the interest rate to 10%
- Add recurring late fees
- Add fines (say you are late on a $10 payment, get fined $1,000)
- Add administrative fees like another $100 to mail a letter
- Add attorney fees (this is a killer)
- File the case in count court and pass all the court costs to the homeowner
Enforcing Rules that Have Little to No Criteria
Another association type of horror story is to enforce rules that have little to no criteria. Take for example the command that you shall clean your roof. The homeowner dutifully hires a roof a professional to clean the roof. The association still decides to fine you $3,000. The homeowner protests, asserting that the roof was cleaned professionally. The HOA then says “yea but not to our standards.” Yet the standards are not written anywhere. To make matters worse, the homeowners sees that the HOA board members own roofs are even in dirtier conditions but nobody issued citations against them.
If you are being targeted unfairly or capriciously by the HOA, please contact David Chico Law Group. Our professionals are very experienced in association matters and will evaluate your case and develop your options.