Where Can I Go To Complain About An HOA Or A Condo Board?
Most complaints by owners initially should go to the property management company the association uses. Most associations in Florida have property management companies that help the association, so there is a property manager that a homeowner can go to and raise complaints. If the association does not have a property management company, the unit owner can lodge a complaint with the board of directors directly. If no resolution is gained by those approaches, then the owner can speak with an attorney, such as myself to review their options available to obtain relief.
Can HOAs and Condo Boards Be Reimbursed For Legal Or Court Fees Related To Non-Payment?
In most disputes between an HOA board, and a condominium board versus a unit owner, the prevailing party is entitled to their attorney’s fees and costs. Therefore, if an association and a unit owner are fighting in court and the association wins they are going to be entitled to their attorney’s fees. If the unit owner wins they will be entitled to their association fees. That is the general rule. There are some exceptions, but the general rule is that whichever side wins is going to be entitled to have the other side be obligated to have to pay attorney’s fees and costs.
What Can I Do If I Suspect That The HOA or Condo Board Is Acting Fraudulently?
Under the statute, an owner is entitled to review the official records, which would include financial records of the association. If there are discrepancies or disparities between what the records reveal than the owner could file suit to remedy those issues. The other option that an owner could have is to report the association if they think there is criminal or fraudulent activity, they can report them directly to the state of Florida, and that would be through the Division of Condominiums, time-sharers, and mobile homes.
What Generally Happens If There Is A Conflict Between The HOA and A Home Owner?
The best option is if the matter can be worked out with a simple call or a letter. Many times, if they are board members, or if they are owners, and they feel aggrieved for one reason or the other, they immediately want to file a suit, but if the matter can be solved with a call from a lawyer or a letter then absolutely, that saves money and aggravation for everyone. Depending on the nature of the issue, a call or a letter obviously may not work, and may be required to either mediate, or arbitrate, depending on whether they are in a HOA or a condominium. The statute requires these alternative dispute resolutions before you can even file suit. Therefore, the best way is to try to work it out without engaging in the legal process.
If you have to engage in the legal process, then there is mediation, or arbitration, and if that does not work then you file suit in either county or circuit court.
Additional Topics Regarding HOA And Condo Disputes
The only other matter that I think is important for people to realize is that it is also a unique situation with condominiums and homeowners associations when you have disputes between neighbors. Typically, if you do not live in an association, and you have a dispute with a neighbor, the only thing you can do is to work it out directly with a neighbor. Alternatively, if the local government is able to help you, in other words see if they violated any code or ordinance. However, if they have not done that, then you have this lingering dispute with your neighbor, and in condominium boards or HOAs, you have rules that are regulating the appearance, or the ability to modify, and they address parking issues as well.
Therefore, those kinds of issues are regulated and when you have disputes between neighbors, many times those types of disputes are anticipated by the original developer, or whoever drafted the original documents, and by the legislators that make up the Florida statutes. There are different methods of relief, and enforcements when dealing with neighbor against neighbor, as opposed to association versus owner. Those happen fairly frequently.
For more information on Complaining About HOA & Condo Boards, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 242-3600 today.
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