Can I Sue My HOA?
Homeowners associations (HOAs) have rules. Before buying property, HOAs usually give potential homeowners a copy of these rules. These rules can include landscaping guidelines, rules regarding the use of the pool and other common areas, and even parking regulations within the community. In addition, the HOA requires those who live within the community to follow these rules, without exception.
What happens if a homeowner disagrees 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 proceed 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 to develop an agreeable solution.
It is important to note that rules are often different for condominiums than HOAs. For example, disputes involving condominiums generally require arbitration. In arbitration, a neutral third party will review both parties’ 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 alternative dispute resolution to resolve their conflict with the HOA.
However, homeowners do not need to do this alone. Homeowners can seek legal counsel to help 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.