If you live in a community, chances are good that you have a Homeowners Association. The HOA agrees to provide you with certain services, which could include maintaining common areas, enforcing bylaws, keeping the pool clean and much more. In return, you pay a monthly or yearly fee and agree to abide by the rules set up by the HOA.
Usually, members of the community and the HOA maintain a peaceful, symbiotic relationship and everything is done above board. However, there are times when HOAs mismanage funds or even break the law, which can adversely affect homeowners. Such was the case in Florida recently.
D.R. Horton, one of the largest homebuilders in the country, was issued a $16 million fine for mismanaging an HOA's finances. The judge called the company's behavior "immoral, unethical [and] oppressive" and "motivated solely by greed for unreasonable financial gain."
Among the reasons for the fine were accusations that employees of D.R. Horton illegally cut services in the community, including cable tv, security and other amenities.
A spokesperson for D.R. Horton indicated that the company will appeal the fine.
If you are a homeowner who feels unjustly treated by your HOA or a homeowners association facing accusations of fraud or mismanagement, you may want to think about sitting down with an experienced attorney. An attorney who is well versed in HOA disputes and real estate law can examine the situation and help you work toward a resolution, whether it involves litigation or not. They may be able to get you the results you're looking for.
Source: wsj.com, "Judge Fines D.R. Horton $16 Million Over HOA Management," Katy Stech, November 10, 2016