What Does an HOA Attorney Do
A Homeowner Association (HOA) is a committee responsible for regulating governmental laws in a neighborhood and acting for the benefit of the community. It governs matters related to the neighborhood and makes sure that rules are enforced. There are different rules to govern; some of which are related to the conduct of residents among others.
Of course, the laws a homeowner association isn’t free to set its own rules without the government of a higher institution. The homeowners’ association laws are a very unique subset of property laws and hold a specific set of rules that need to be agreed on by the community that the HOA governs. But, how is the HOA board established? The HOA board is made up of several residents of the neighborhood – or community – it governs, and is chosen via elections.
However, there are some cases where the homeowners’ associations come up with rules of their own. Therefore, the board must be aware of property law to make sure that the applicable rules comply with the governmental rules of the country. In case there isn’t someone knowledgeable about the laws on the HOA board, a legal representation of the rules needs to be done by an HOA attorney.
Nonetheless, the same as with everything else in life, not everyone will agree on the same set of rules and be convinced that it’s for the greater good. As “beneficial regulations” are a highly subjective matter, there are many times when disputes and different opinions arise between neighborhood residents and the homeowner association.
Some differences can be thought through, while others lead to bigger consequences such as fines or even filing lawsuits against each other – that’s when an HOA attorney comes in handy. If you reside in a neighborhood where you feel like the HOA isn’t fair or enforcing sensible rules, you have the choice to hire an HOA attorney and escalate matters.
So, there are two main responsibilities of a homeowners association attorney; the first one is to advise the board on the laws and residents on how to protect themselves from being sued, and the second one is if one of the residents wants to file a case against the HOA, or is not in compliance with the laws. Generally, a homeowners association attorney provides legal guidance and advice.
A homeowners association attorney has the full right to contact residents who don’t comply with the rules set by the board and explain to them how they are violating the law and the consequences of their actions. However, if the resident(s) doesn’t comply with the laws even after being warned, the HOA attorney has no other choice but to file a case to take a legal consequence against the resident to protect the community regulations and laws. In that way, the HOA attorney represents the legal figure of the association and community.
Also, the HOA attorney might serve as a legal spokesman for the association in outside matters. For instance, if someone damages property in the neighborhood or there has been shady work done, it is the responsibility of the HOA attorney to stand up for the community and initiate a lawsuit. Also, in cases where files are against the association, the attorney is responsible for defending the association.
Mainly, an HOA attorney doesn’t work for one association at once – most of them take on the responsibilities of many associations at once. They might choose to serve as a guide for some, represent some, or take on all roles for some associations, depending on the agreement between the homeowners association attorney and the homeowners association board.
According to a group of HOA Attorneys in Los Angeles at The Attorney Referral Service, “The main purpose of a homeowners association is to look out for the best interest of the homeowners– with the help and guidance of an HOA attorney”.
Generally, to become an HOA attorney, you don’t need any requirements than to have detailed knowledge of property laws. The intensity of that knowledge also depends on what roles you will take on – some associations might need attorneys more knowledgeable than others. But, as long as you are interested in providing guidance, and advice, standing up for a community, and having sufficient knowledge of property laws, especially home association law, you can become an HOA attorney.