How to Deal with A Difficult Homeowners Association
Whether you currently live in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA) or are considering buying a home
that is subject to an HOA - odds are you might have some concerns about how to best deal with a difficult homeowners association.Understanding the Bylaws is Key
Bylaws are created upon the formation of a homeowners association to help create a standard of expectation. As a homeowner, reading the bylaws helps you know what is expected of your home and property as well as the proper course of action you should take to make changes or additions. An HOA will be far less of a nuisance if you follow the rules and procedures outlined in the Bylaws.Pay Your Dues On-time and In-Full
Homeowners Associations are often comprised of volunteers or minimally compensated individuals. Staying current on your annual or monthly dues will help keep you in their "good graces" even when dealing with a problem. People are more willing to work to find a solution if you are already playing by the rules.Don't be Afraid to Get Involved
If you are consistently frustrated with your HOA or think that changes need to be made - get involved. Reach out to help with meetings or volunteer to hold a position on the board. You'll get more accomplished by taking action than just complaining to your fellow neighbors.Stay Professional
If you have been cited for an infraction or want to report a problem, be sure to maintain your composure. A non-emotional and professional approach will always receive greater attention than if you start out in "attack" mode. Remember to also support your claim with documentation and other appropriate information and don't forget to check the by-laws on the best course of action when contesting the HOA's decisions.
At the end of the day, the Homeowners Association is there to help keep a community running smoothly and maintain home values. However, if you do have problems and feel that an HOA has stepped on your legal rights - be sure to take the appropriate steps to work through the issue. Filing a lawsuit may be necessary to resolve a problem but it should be a last resort action to keep everyone from wasting time and money unnecessarily. If you have a mortgage AND a car loan, student loan or credit card debt - you can reduce your monthly costs with a SmartREFi™
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