Homeowners associations (HOAs) have rules. Before buying property, HOAs generally give potential homeowners a copy of these rules. These rules can include landscaping guidelines, rules regarding the use of pool and other common areas and even parking regulations within the community. The HOA requires those who live within the community to abide by these rules.
What happens if a homeowner does not agree with the HOA’s rules?
In most cases, homeowners cannot simply sue their HOA. Florida state law generally requires disputes involving property owners and HOAs to move forward through the dispute resolution process. Instead of beginning with traditional litigation, this generally requires the homeowner to seek a resolution through mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution in which a neutral third-party guides negotiation between two disputing parties with the goal of developing an agreeable resolution.
It is important to note that rules are often different for condominiums. Disputes involving condominiums generally require arbitration. In arbitration, a neutral third party will review both party’s claims and choose a winner.
What if I have a dispute?
Homeowners with an HOA dispute will likely need to attempt to move forward with a form of alternative dispute resolution to resolve their conflict with the HOA.
However, homeowners do not need to go it alone. Homeowners can seek legal counsel to help better ensure their rights are protected throughout the process. An attorney experienced in these disputes can represent your interests and discuss additional options if alternative dispute resolution is not fruitful.