HOAs and their boards have to maintain the community’s peace. As with other leadership positions, some people may not agree with the board’s actions and decisions. While the majority of problematic situations can be resolved through calm conversations, sometimes they can lead to expensive and lengthy lawsuits. Preventing these situations is often easier than dealing with a lawsuit’s trials. The following are proactive steps an HOA board can take to prevent the association from getting sued:
Take Maintenance Seriously
Often, an HOA can get sued because of a lack of upkeep around the community. Board members must act immediately when they get complaints about certain areas within the community needing maintenance or repairs. The HOA should maintain areas within the community or make necessary repairs. To avoid legal troubles, ensure your board partners with one of the best phoenix hoa management companies to handle maintenance issues and hire the right vendors for the job. If the board cannot stay on top of upkeep, communicate the problem to the entire community. This way, homeowners become aware of what’s happening and know their dues may increase in the future.
Review Governing Documents
Sometimes, some homeowners may wish to modify something on their property that does not fit in with the associations’ governing documents. Instead of shutting these homeowners down at an HOA meeting, try to explain the reasoning. As you review governing documents, do it with homeowners and look for a way to create a win-win situation for them based on what the documents allow.
Seek Extra Help When You Pursue Violations
If a homeowner breached bylaws or hasn’t paid their dues, your association should collect fees and delinquent dues. Sometimes, such actions can lead to lawsuits when the offender doesn’t agree with the rule or believes the fees are not fair. In such cases, make sure you approach the violators with caution. Consult your association manager about the right types of counsel to make sure you can collect the money. Also, you want to ensure there’s no potential waiver that would make it impossible for you to pursue the same kind of violation in the future.
If your association board is not sure of how to handle homeowner disputes and other issues that could lead to lawsuits, consider looking into HOA management. An experienced HOA manager can help your board make the right decisions and act against possible legal troubles.