HOA, for better or worse

Before you reach for your light saber, though, consider this: Homeowners associations (HOAs) often can be a force for good, cleaning up snow, maintaining the pool and ensuring that the neighborhood looks its best when potential buyers come to call

Lisa Rauschart has an interesting story in today’s Washington Times discussing living in an HOA, and pointing out some of the benefits an Association provides it’s members. An excerpt of the story is below. You can read the entire article here.

You’ve heard the horror stories: The elderly woman forced to move from her condo because she couldn’t carry her cocker spaniel across the common-room floor, the Virginia couple fined because they posted a “Happy Birthday Jesus” sign on their front lawn shortly after Thanksgiving, the California man called on the carpet for planting too many roses. There’s even an old “X-Files” episode that has the president of a homeowners association conjuring up a Tibetan monster to kill residents who broke the rules.

Before you reach for your light saber, though, consider this: Homeowners associations (HOAs) often can be a force for good, cleaning up snow, maintaining the pool and ensuring that the neighborhood looks its best when potential buyers come to call.

Robert DeNichilo has contributed to the Following Articles at HOALeader.com

When Pets Do Damage in Your HOA

In pet-friendly homeowners associations, fights can erupt over whether common-area damage is the result of pets—and over whose pets are the culprits.

Here’s a common example: In one Chicago condo association, owners are bickering over whether the brown spots on the lawn are from a new dog’s bathroom habits and what the owner must do to fix the problem.

Here, we cover how to determine the cause of and get reimbursed for pet damages to common areas. Click here to read the entire article.

Guard Your HOA’s Membership List Carefully

If an owner or someone else asks to see your association’s member list, can you say no? If your state requires that you provide members your list, can you redact some information? Are there restrictions on how members can use the list?

To answer those questions for your association, you’ll need to review your own state’s law and your governing documents. Here’s how a sampling of states address the issue. Click here to read the entire article.

When to Turn to Small Claims Court for HOA Collections

In this week’s tip, we give you the skinny on when it’s wise and not-so-wise to go after delinquent homeowners in small claims court. Many attorneys recommend against it, but there are exceptions.

“In certain circumstances, small claims is a very viable option, such as when it’s a small amount of money,” says Robert M. DeNichilo, an attorney at DeNichilo & Lindsley LLP in Irvine, Calif., who specializes in representing community associations.Click here to read the entire article.

How Open Must Your HOA Meetings Be?

Your owners’ tenants are beginning to show up at association meetings. And on occasion, a potential vender stops by. This week’s tip addresses whether you can and should boot those nonmembers.Click here to read the entire article.

Who Can Attend Your HOA Meetings?

Does your state or homeowners association have rules covering who can attend owners’ and board meetings? Here we explain potential restrictions and whether your board can and should allow exceptions.

How you treat “outsiders” depends on your state’s laws and your governing documents. Click here to read the entire article.

Can You Use Small Claims Court to Collect Unpaid HOA Fees?

One California small claims judge’s opinion has caused confusion over homeowners associations’ ability to use small claims court to collect unpaid fees. Here, we explain the California brouhaha and offer insights about using small claims court in other states as well. Click here to read the entire article.