You just moved into a planned community and you're already having problems with the HOA, or home owners association. You thought you were in compliance, but now you're facing a fine. Don't panic. There are steps you can take to dispute the HOA claims being leveled against you. Here are the steps you need to take if you dispute HOA actions.
Research Current HOA Rules
As soon as you receive the complaint from your HOA, you need to research the current rules that are in place. When were the rules updated last? Do the rules follow state guidelines for HOA organizations? If the rules have not been updated in several years, or they do not follow state guidelines, they may not be enforceable. Speak to an attorney about your rights.
Document Your Grievance
If you have a grievance against your HOA, it's important that you document the entire process. Begin the process by documenting the exact grievance you have against the HOA. Keep copies of all emails, letters and evidence you provide them with. Take notes during any conversations you have with HOA board members or representatives.
After the meeting, write a letter documenting your understanding of the meeting and send the letter to your HOA president. This will allow your HOA the opportunity to sit down and explain any discrepancies or misunderstandings that might exist.
Talk to Your Neighbors
It's very important that you speak to your neighbors. They may be having the same problems you're experiencing, which will mean that it's not an isolated event. If necessary, form a committee of concerned neighbors and create a petition. A petition, signed by you and your neighbors, will put your HOA on notice that you're going to take action, if necessary.
Pay the Fines
Even if you're disputing the claims against you, pay the fines. You can still contest the actions, but you'll avoid having additional fines and penalties attached while the dispute is being investigated. Failing to pay your fines and HOA dues could result in legal action against you, which could jeopardize your claims against the HOA.
Home owners associations are designed to provide continuity and security in planned communities. You need to know that you have rights as an HOA member. If you're facing fines or penalties, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. The steps provided above will help you deal with the problems you may be facing with your HOA.
Contact a company like The Noble Company of South Carolina, LLC for more information.