Homeowner Association (HOA) Problems in Wake Forest

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) has plenty of room for disagreements and problems that can ultimately require a real estate attorney in Wake Forest who is experienced in HOAs. An HOA is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules in the neighborhood associated with the HOA. The HOA has its own covenants, conditions, and restrictions for such aspects as landscaping and architecture, resident etiquette and behavior, and fee schedules.

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There are circumstances that occur which can lead people to take issue with any number of these rules and regulations. If you are in a disagreement with your HOA, you may find that an attorney who has experience navigating these matters can be quite helpful. The Doyle Law Offices P.A., a law firm in Wake Forest are experts with all types of real estate law, including HOAs, and can assist in countering and/or negotiating with HOAs.

If You Dislike Your HOA’s Rules

Some neighborhoods have HOAs that grant board members the ability to express discontent on rules they disagree with. Other HOA boards do not allow such flexibility and are not willing to compromise. If you are contesting a rule by an HOA that does not have such flexibility, it is recommended that you continue to pay your dues. HOAs have wide legal powers as they are able to regulate many activities and collect fines for violations.

Always Respond to Letters

Always respond to letters from property managers, collection agencies, or HOA boards themselves. If you do not respond to letters, you can be taken to small claims court. In some cases, you can have a lien on a piece of your personal property filed against you.

Get Permission

Some issues can be handled with a simple phone call, like adding a budget for trash collection. However, if you would like to do something that is considered “against the rules,” there are certain steps you can take to work toward being granted permission, including but not limited to:

  • Recommending a compromise regarding your request, such as playing loud music on holidays or during certain weekend hours as opposed to requisition permission to play loud music any time you wish.
  • Creating a detailed list and requesting a variance. A variance grants you the ability to be an exception of a rule. Be sure that the variance request explicitly states the rule and regulation that you want an exception to and that it is formatted according to the HOA’s specifications.

When an HOA is Dissolved

An HOA can be terminated for several reasons:

Poorly managed budget where there have been excessive fees imposed that members may not have agreed to pay
Under- or over-enforced covenants, conditions, and restrictions
Untruthful board activity where some board members have or are not following the rules as other members are

There is a procedure that must be followed in order to dissolve an HOA, which is found in the governing documents as well as the laws of the state where the HOA is located. These documents are called bylaws and articles of incorporation and clearly explain how an HOA can be dissolved and what the next steps are after dissolution.

Many times these governing documents are not straightforward and can be difficult to interpret. An experienced real estate attorney in Wake Forest can provide clarification and help you understand what the HOA requires.

What Do HOA Fees Pay For?

In general, HOA budgets are created in order to reflect upcoming debts such as administration management, landscaping, construction, and utilities. Additionally, reserve funds are set aside for future expenses such as new pavement, new mailboxes, upgraded fencing, new street lighting, and so forth. If you feel as though your money is being budgeted poorly and you have virtually no input, contact The Doyle Law Offices P.A. in Wake Forest today.

When Hard Times Befall Property Owners

Sometimes, property owners have hard financial times which cause them to default on a payment that is owed on their property. Usually, the creditor can either take action to enforce and collect the debt or the two parties can compromise with a deal that settles the matter. Then, there can be situations where the property owner has to declare bankruptcy.

All of these things can happen when the property is part of an HOA, so it’s important to know how the HOA reacts in such situations. Many times, an HOA will be aggressive in collection actions when assessments and dues go unpaid in order to maintain fairness to other homeowners.

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure

Bankruptcy laws are designed to provide you with some relief from your outstanding debts. In regard to HOAs, there are two main types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, either some or all of your personal assets are sold. The profit from the sold assets is used to pay your creditors in order to erase and mitigate your debt. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you devise a plan to pay your creditor(s) off over an extended period of time, usually 3 to 5 years.

Even though an automatic stay results from filing for bankruptcy protection, an HOA may attempt to collect their unpaid fees. If this occurs, contain your real estate attorney as soon as possible to avoid further fees and inconveniences. This is especially important if your HOA has filed a lien against your property before you have filed for bankruptcy protection.

Contact Your Homeowner’s Association Attorney in Wake Forest Today

For more than 25 years, real estate attorney Hank Doyle has been helping homeowners with their real estate needs, including HOA issues. In Wake Forest, Cary, Raleigh, and surrounding areas, The Doyle Law Offices P.A. have the experience and knowledge to assist you in navigating HOA rules and regulations. Call us at (919) 228-4487 or complete the form below to discuss your real estate law representation.

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