Are you being sued by your Homeowner’s Association?
Many people find themselves in trouble with their Homeowner’s Associations (“HOA”). Often times, it’s a simple thing like forgetting to pay the annual assessment on time. Other times, there are larger issues such as a patriotic former Marine attempting to fly the Stars and Stripes on his own property. Whatever the case may be, when a conflict arises between you and your HOA, you don’t have to take it lying down.
The rules governing the creation and operations of HOAs are complex. In Virginia, those rules are mostly embodied in The Virginia Property Owner’s Association Act (the “VPOAA” or “the Act”) Va. Code §55-508 et seq. This act regulates everything from which neighborhoods are subject to the VPOAA to what has to be included in a disclosure package at the time you purchase your home, to who has access to the association’s records. However, this act has also be supplemented and explained by case law from the Virginia Supreme Court. The complexity of this area of the law, which combines the law of contracts, real property, statutory construction, and state constitutional law requires an attorney with experience.
Any measure of non-compliance with the act, on the part of your HOA, may give you a leverage point. This sounds like a thin defense, but the consequences of non-compliance can be catastrophic for the HOA. For example, in one case the law firm recently handled, the HOA sued our clients (and nearly 30 of their neighbors) for back assessments. When the firm reviewed the case, it found that the non-compliance with the act was so significant that it threw the HOA out of the VPOAA altogether. That became the core point in our defense. This aggressive defense made continuing the lawsuit very risky for the HOA. Ultimately, the HOA backed down because if it had lost the case it would have been hard pressed in future cases to claim that it was an HOA under the Act. For most of the other neighbors not represented by the firm, the HOA took judgments against them.
If you are sued by your homeowner’s association, you don’t have to merely pay up. You may have defenses of which you are unaware.
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Hull Street Law
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Richmond, Virginia 23224
The facts and circumstances of each case are unique and therefore the fact that a law firm has obtained significant verdicts and results in other cases in no way guarantees that other cases will have similar results.
The materials are prepared for information purposes only. The materials are not legal advice and you should not act upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.