“What is HOA Attorneys Near Me? Every homeowner’s association needs an HOA attorney. As part of their service, they assist with tasks and issues that an HOA would otherwise be unable to handle. The following are reasons why your association should have one.”
Every homeowner’s association must keep the services of an attorney. The HOA’s governing documents and federal, state, and local laws determine the number of aspects of the community’s management. To follow these requirements, the association must follow them. An experienced community association attorney can ensure compliance and prevent lawsuits. And ensure community association success.
As well as providing legal representation to homeowners associations, attorneys can assist with amending CC&Rs, collection issues, and legal amendments.
Why is an HOA attorney so important?
Whether the organization is for profit or not, an attorney can provide valuable help. Because of this, many companies hire their corporate counsel or keep attorneys on retainer. It is the nature of attorneys to protect organizations.
HOAs benefit residents in a condominium, townhome, or other planned community. But, this benefit can sometimes seem like an obligation when the HOA enforces community regulations. The HOA’s board of directors is usually composed of community volunteers. Those who do their best to interpret the rules are not always successful.
The HOA may keep an attorney to assist HOA board members with these interpretations. And enforcement tasks and resolve legal disputes involving individual property owners. Additionally, there are times when the HOA must keep an attorney to prepare legal documents. Or resolve conflicts with outside parties such as vendors or contractors.
HOA Attorneys Near Me play an important role in HOAs in many ways. HOA lawyers can assist in fulfilling the following functions:
· The governing documents of community associations and laws
The governing documents of community associations and federal, state, and local laws govern them. You may find it difficult to understand the governing documents of your HOA. Nonetheless, HOA attorneys can also assist with more complicated terms and interpretations.
For instance, condominium associations may seek an association lawyer’s help to determine which units are responsible for maintenance.
· HOA attorney can assist with making changes to governing documents
Additionally, an HOA attorney can assist with making changes to governing documents. Such as architectural guidelines and board member requirements.
In the HOA community, amending managing documents is a big deal. The HOA board needs to ensure that any changes to the governing documents don’t compromise existing stipulations. Furthermore, it is crucial to follow all applicable national, state, and local laws, including the Fair Housing Act. It is necessary to use the proper wording when making any changes and cut liability risk.
· HOA boards can collect delinquent dues
Unfortunately, most homeowners do not pay their assessments, which is a problem for many community associations. There may be various reasons, ranging from insufficient income to a refusal to do so completely.
Many HOA boards do all they can to collect delinquent dues. Such as imposing late fees and rescinding privileges to residents who don’t pay. Suppose the board decides to engage in further action. Such as filing a property lawsuit will need an HOA attorney’s help. It is still important to follow the governing documents, of course.
· Represent the HOA and its board
Board members are also responsible for fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities as defined in the HOA’s governing documents. Homeowners within an association may sue if they find the board is not upholding these responsibilities.
Often, the board of directors may be able to receive legal help from a lawyer that they have already hired.
Lawyers are not only needed when fiduciary duties fail. Homeowners often bring lawsuits against their associations. Or HOA boards for the smallest differences. It’s easy to disregard or dismiss these complaints as petty, but you still need a lawyer to assist you.
· General legal counsel
How does an HOA attorney help residents? A variety of issues can arise in a homeowners association, which is why they need legal counsel. General legal counsel, such as dealing with disputes or discrimination allegations, can be provided by an HOA attorney.
The board may seek expert advice from an attorney if they are uncertain what action to take. An attorney will limit liability in the long run if the board has one by its side.
Finding an HOA attorney for your association?
Since community associations aren’t very popular, finding an attorney specializing in them is difficult. Management firms have relationships with local law firms and can recommend them if your association uses one or more.
Your local Community Associations Institute chapter’s services directory may be another good resource. Members of the organization act as lawyers who specialize in community association law.
It is safe to trust CAI’s recommendations for HOA attorneys. Because they are well-known in the industry. There are also plenty of results to be found by doing a simple Google search. You can use the following keywords:
- Nearby HOA lawyer
- HOA attorney near me
- California HOA lawyers
Finding an experienced lawyer through word of mouth is also a great option. Friends and family who have served on the boards of other HOAs in your area may be aware of a particular company that has been successful.
Be sure not to focus only on the positives. It is also important to learn from them what criticisms they may have about potential candidates.
Legal help is one of the services offered by some HOA management companies. You can always ask your bank for a referral to an attorney if yours does not. Management companies are likely to have some options for you.
Other types of attorneys worth considering
Other types of attorneys can help you if there are no HOA law firms in your area or you cannot locate one in these ways. Real estate attorneys are generally thought of as the best choice by board members.
It is more concerned with homeownership and disputes than HOA issues. There is more of a contract-like nature to HOA governing documents. In this situation, consulting with an attorney specializing in business or contractual law is better.
What you should keep in mind when you hire an HOA attorney?
Choosing the right attorney involves a few factors that you should consider. Picking the first one you see is not a good idea. Take the following factors into account when narrowing down your choices:
- The size of your association will tell you what services you need and when you need them. Has your HOA been faced with legal issues only? Does your community often face legal problems?
- If you live in California, then a Florida-based attorney would be of no use to you. Make sure you use location modifiers when searching. Alternatively, you can type “HOA lawyers near me” or “HOA attorneys near me” into the search engine.
- It is important to verify the pricing for each potential candidate to determine how much an HOA lawyer charges. Additionally, your HOA’s financial capability matters. An attorney fee may be reasonable to one association but not to another.
- Some of the matters you’ll handle will be confidential, but your attorney will take them all. You should thus hire an honest and trustworthy person. You should also ensure your HOA attorney considers the community’s interests.
Are you being sued by your HOA?
It would help if you spoke with an HOA lawyer as soon as possible after being served with a lawsuit, learning about a lien, or receiving a demand letter. A lawyer can help you if you don’t ignore it and don’t wait!
If you delay, your HOA and its lawyers may attempt to charge you more fees. And we know from experience that the longer you wait, the harder it will be to drop those charges.
The truth is, even if you believe they are wrong, ignoring them will never solve the problem. If you don’t take action, they will likely sue you and get a judgment against you.
Your homeowner’s association has likely employed a collection lawyer. For them, it is not unusual to include thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees and costs in the ledger they present to the judge when they file a lawsuit.
You may see yourself as current or as one or two payments behind. They will likely claim that you owe a lot more than that. Unlike other types of judgments, most HOA judgments have a distinctive aspect called the blank check.
The amount of a review is supposed to remain the same. But, lawyers representing homeowner associations that we have encountered usually add self-serving language that purports to award them attorneys’ fees.
After that, the HOA lawyers decide which more fees they consider reasonable and include them in any collection effort without ever having to return to court.
Consequently, a few hundred dollars judgment can balloon into several thousand dollars judgment. However, California law prevents a judgment creditor from collecting fees in a garnishment against owners.
According to an attorney, he had to answer the phone to tell the owner the judgment balance, so the judgment amount just increased. It is common for this abuse to prey on owners without legal representation and an overworked court system, leading to the association or its attorneys incurring thousands of dollars in costs.
Other areas of law do not grant prospective attorneys’ fees as part of judgments. Judges rarely question this practice because it is so commonplace.
We believe in early intervention.
In the case of any irregularities in the ledger, we urge every homeowner living in an HOA to contact us promptly.
Many default judgments result from homeowners not knowing there was a lawsuit, to begin with! Many cases claim that the HOA cannot locate you. This is shocking. Besides knowing where you live, they send you mail monthly and are your neighbors.
A court case may end up with the HOA and its lawyers claiming that they are unable to find you, telling the court they are unaware of your address, or accusing you of “ducking” service because you were not home when the process server knocked on your door two or three times.
In the event a lien has emerged against the property that you believe is invalid. Either because the lien is greater than what you think you owe, because you don’t recognize the individual or entity that recorded the lien, or because the lien recorder has not followed the proper procedures for obtaining a valid lien, you suspect the lien is invalid.
When the opposing party does not agree to remove the wrongful lien, a California real estate owner can file a special action to recover damages and attorneys’ fees.
Consumer fraud affects millions of individuals every year. In the California Consumer Fraud Act, consumer fraud includes deception, unfair acts or practices, false representations, concealments, or promises about the sale of “merchandise.”
Merchandise includes goods, intangibles, real estate, or services. Consumer Fraud Acts exist in California and other states as well. As the homeowner, you have many reasons to become familiar with your HOA rights and hire an experienced HOA lawyer immediately.
The attorneys at our firm represent individuals and groups of consumers who are being unfairly exploited and violated by those seeking to take advantage of them. A victim of fraud, abuse, unscrupulous, and predatory business practices possesses our representation by us.
For the future of your HOA
The role of homeowner’s association attorneys cannot be overlooked. HOA counsel advises HOA boards on best practices and steers them away from liability problems. The HOA’s governing documents and the law are translated by attorneys, ensuring compliance and preventing conflicts. An HOA attorney can also assist with the collection of late assessments.
Associations enjoy hiring an attorney to protect themselves and their members now and in the future. It is equally important to hire the right attorney to have one.
HOA Attorneys near Me! Remember to consider their credentials, testimonies, and expertise when evaluating prospects. Furthermore, it would help if you chose a lawyer who shares your association’s ideals and collaborates well with the board.
In addition to managing homeowners associations, many HOA management companies provide legal help and advice. If you are currently looking for one, our attorney real estate group can be a great resource for you.