Many neighborhoods in and around Houston are governed by Homeowner’s Associations (HOA). HOAs set rules for the community, and expect you as a property owner to abide by them. Of course, disputes sometimes arise when the HOA and the homeowner do not agree. Do you know how to handle Homeowner’s Association disputes in your Texas neighborhood?
At Daic Law, we commonly receive questions about HOA rules and enforcement. To help our readers, we have compiled this article as an easy “how-to” to get started resolving your HOA dispute.
How to Handle HOA Disputes in Texas
If you and your HOA disagree, it’s time to take some simple steps to resolving the issue before things get out of hand. Here are a few things to remember:
- Review the HOA Rules: HOA rules should be provided to you, the homeowner, in the form of a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R). If you do not agree with something your HOA has stated or enforced, review the CC&R before taking any action. Some CC&R rules are more strict than others. While some may restrict erecting fences or opening a body shop in the garage, others may restrict small details like the color of flags allowed, or landscaping.
- Stay Tuned to HOA Changes: HOA rules can change, and it is up to you to make sure you are aware of the changes and are abiding by the correct version of the CC&R. Generally speaking, rule changes will take place at HOA meetings, but you may find it helpful to contact the HOA periodically to find out if anything has changed.
- Compromise if Possible: If you have an issue with one of the HOA rules, attempt to compromise. Depending on the situation and how serious, your HOA may be required to consider amending the rule, or arranging mediation.
- Take Legal Action: Taking formal legal action against your HOA should be a last resort for many issues, but for serious issues, it may be the best option for resolution. Sometimes the HOA will set rules that are not covered in the CC&R, or that may not comply with local laws. In other cases, HOA officers may show favoritism among some homeowners while cracking the whip on others. HOA’s are a legal entity, and are subject to the law.
Before taking any action against your HOA, you may find it most helpful to contact Daic Law to discuss your situation. Our attorney can help review your CC&R, ensure your HOA is operating in compliance with the law, and explore options for resolution that will protect your legal rights and hopefully maintain a positive relationship between you and your HOA.