HOA boards must be careful how they discharge their duties. Under California law, it is entirely possible for homeowners to sue the HOA under certain circumstances. HOA boards should always get legal help to avoid litigation if at all possible.
There are three primary areas where homeowners may sue an HOA. They are:
- Breach of fiduciary duty – when a person assumes a rule for the HOA, they owe a fiduciary duty to the homeowners. At a minimum, these include the duties of good faith and fair dealing. If the HOA has mismanaged the affairs of the association, it may be sued.
- Breach of covenant – The HOA can face a lawsuit for how they enforce rules. The HOA must follow the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of the HOA as they appear in writing.
- Negligence – the HOA also has the responsibility to maintain the grounds. If they fail to make repairs as necessary, they could be sued. Negligence lawsuits may also apply to the financial management of the HOA and the way that the association enforces its rules.
Try to Negotiate or Talk Before a Lawsuit
Disputes between homeowners and the HOA are unfortunately common. However, not every dispute has to end in litigation. HOAs and residents should try to resolve issues before they end up in court, using methods like mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. The alternative is that the HOA may be forced to spend a large part of its operating budget on legal fees.
San Jose, CA, Campbell, CA, Mountain View, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, Cupertino, CA HOA Board Attorney
Pratt & Associates helps HOAs deal with challenging legal issues. To learn about the value that we can add, call us today at 408.369.0800 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.