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Reasons residents may elect to sue their homeowner's association

Living in communities protected by a homeowner's association's (HOA) covenants and restrictions can be both a blessing and curse. While many see themselves as building in an added layer of protection for their investment by living in these types of communities, when disputes arise, it's common for their choice to live in one to be seen as a mistake.

We've all heard countless stories of homeowners wishing to make modifications to their homes, where they're not allowed to do so without prior authorization of their HOA. In these instances, a failure to comply with their covenants may result in you, as the homeowner, being sued by the HOA. It's important to note that the homeowner has certain rights, too. Any violation of those may open to door to the HOA being sued as well.

Perhaps one of the more common reasons a homeowner might elect to sue the HOA is because they have been discriminated against either by its leadership or in the drafting of its covenants. While an HOA enjoys a certain degree of autonomy in drafting its community rules, any discrimination against individuals belonging to protected racial, religious or marital status categories, is a violation of housing discrimination laws.

HOAs are also commonly sued when it comes to residents wishing to either remodel or repair their property. In such cases, it's common that covenants and restrictions the homeowner has agreed to become nullified. Having to sue the HOA may be the only way that a homeowner can ultimately be allowed to move forward with one's project.

These types of agreements are no different from any other type of contract. Just as residents of these communities are required to abide by certain rules, so, too, is the HOA itself. Any instance in which an association fails to require voting before large expenses or certain disruptive practices are allowed to move forward has the potential of being sued.

If you live in a HOA that you believe is improperly managing funds, discriminating against its residents, or purposely blocking renovations or repairs, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. In reviewing your case, a Melbourne, Florida, real estate litigation attorney can assess the merits of filing a case.

Source:, "5 reasons to potentially sue your HOA," Andrew Lu, accessed May 30, 2017

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