Can My HOA Or Condo Association Sue Me?
Absolutely. In fact, I’m involved in lawsuits currently representing associations that are suing either unit owners or an HOA or homes owned within an HOA. The persons that own those homes are involved in suing those persons and then on the flip side with associations I don’t represent, I represent unit owners that are involved. I’ve sued their associations and so it’s very frequent and it’s not unusual at all. People make jokes about Condo commandos and I know some people say I never want to live in a community like that but a lot of people, especially in Florida do want to live in those types of communities and so many times you have rules and regulations that are stricter than the norm insofar as if it is not within a community association that is going to raise problems.
Sometimes you have boards that cat very reasonably but they may do something that is outside the confines of the declaration that governs the board of directors or the association. Sometimes you have boards that are not so good and unit owners are forced to sue the association to make sure their rights are protected and then the converse is true. Most of the time you have people that cause no problem with the association and then you have people that either refuse or cannot pay their assessments for maintenance and so everybody else has to take up the slack and so the association can sue them for delinquent assessments and can even foreclose on the home whether it’s homestead or not or foreclose on the lien that’s placed on the home based upon delinquent assessments.
There can also be lawsuits filed by the association against unit owners for suspension of use rights. So if the owner violates certain terms of their right to use their unit, all of a sudden the association, if they take the right procedures, they can either fine the unit owner or they’ll say we’ll suspend you so you can’t use the amenities, you can’t use the clubhouse, you can’t use the pool, you may not be able to have access to go through the gates. The association cannot prevent the unit owner from accessing their home but they can prevent them from utilizing gate clickers or cards or those types of things that make them pass through a gate and there is bound to be a violation. Those are typically the types of things that are involved in lawsuits with these associations.
They also have pet restrictions, people love their animals and sometimes the associations because of the nature of the association want to limit types of animals that you can have or the size of the animal or just outright ban the ownership of any animals within the association and so that can cause conflicts. Those are some of the things that come up in litigation with either condominium associations or homeowners associations.
What Are Some Common Reasons That People May Need a Real Estate Attorney?
The biggest reason is that for most people, the purchasing of a house is by and far the largest purchase that they will make in their lifetime. That includes me as well. So when you are dealing with something which is so expensive and means that much to people, you need to take every precaution you can to make sure that the deal runs smoothly. That is the case if you are purchasing a house or if you are selling some real estate as well. People come to me once there is a problem and usually, that costs more money if you were to come to a real estate attorney prior to any problems arising. I always tell them that if they have a listing agreement already that’s fine.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to look over listing agreements to make sure that you are not stuck with a realtor or a real estate association for a particularly long period of time and they can’t sell your home and you are stuck in that contract. So it’s a good idea from the very beginning to have an experienced attorney but assuming the person is passed that point, then the next step is to execute a contract for the purchase or sale of real estate and I always suggest having an attorney whether you are the buyer or the seller to look over that. Oftentimes there are additions that are written in, there are addendums that are attached and those are things that at some point, may become a point of contention between a buyer and a seller.
You want to make sure that you are in the best position you can be in when things come to a head and you are involved in a legal dispute involving real estate.
For more information on Lawsuits Involving HOA & Condo Associations, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 919-2542 today.
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