Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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Why do many homeowners fight HOAs?

As a homeowners’ association representative, you know that you fight an uphill battle much of the time with the residents of your neighborhood. The goal of HOAs in Missouri and elsewhere is to preserve the value of homes and the integrity and respectability of the community. Homeowners appreciate when their neighborhoods are kept in good repair and each property looks immaculate. However, they often make it difficult for HOAs to do the jobs that give the desired results.

The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that there are more than 333,600 HOAs across the United States today. Why, then, do residents make things so hard on you and other HOA representatives? The top reason is simple: People do not like to feel controlled, especially if undue control is exerted over something they own. It can also be hard for homeowners to abide by strict rules and guidelines that they feel are unnecessary. Others may resent being required to pay monthly or yearly dues.

However, as you also know, the homeowners in your community agreed to follow the rules and pay their fees when they bought their homes. Additionally, their agreement means that the court will likely side with the HOA if a dispute leads to litigation, unless it can be proven that representatives of the HOA exerted unjustified measures, engaged in fraud or violated HOA policies.

The rules that HOAs enforce are necessary for the good of the community, but unfortunately, homeowner complaints are not uncommon. It may help to listen to the suggestions of those in your community and avoid rules that are overly restrictive. You are within your rights to seek legal action if a resident violates the rules and refuses to negotiate or cooperate. However, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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