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Seek legal help to get information, resolve HOA disputes in Texas

Homeowner associations, non-profit corporations formed by real estate developers, are becoming increasingly more common in Harris County. The purpose of the association is to make it easier for a developer to market, manage and sell homes in a condominium complex or a residential subdivision; but once ownership in the corporation is transferred to the homeowners, it can sometimes be difficult to abide by certain rules and regulations as agreed upon by the board. Failure to do so may lead to the need for real estate litigation.

Hiring an attorney to research disputes that arise among members of a homeowner association and advise them of their legal options is one course of action. The condominium bylaws and other documents may list specific legal rights when violations occur. For instance, fines can be assessed against owners. If the fine goes unpaid, the association can place a lien on the property to collect the amount due or possibly even foreclose on the property. Once armed with accurate information, neighbors may be able to work out a less expensive solution rather than filing a lawsuit. This was the advice given to a person living in a condominium complex with different units on the main and upper floors. Some of the owners updated their units with hardwood floors, which violates the association’s bylaws. The documents specify that owners must install carpeting and padding to diminish the sound of footfalls.

It can be difficult to exist according to rules set by a corporation when we live in a society that values individualism. Whether you want to pursue legal action against homeowners who are in non-compliance or you want to revise homeowner association documents that are outdated, you could benefit by hiring a lawyer who is familiar with commercial and real estate laws.

Source: The Washington Post, “Owner should seek less costly resolution of condo dispute,” Illyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin, Oct. 1, 2013.

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