In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of registered homeowners associations (HOAs) across Florida, including planned-unit developments with HOAs for single-family homes and cooperative apartments subject to the rules and regulations of condominium associations. It is estimated that HOAs currently govern more than 62 million homes in the United States. Along with the rising number of registered HOAs, there has been a commensurate increase in the number of civil cases involving disputes between homeowners and their HOAs.
Mediator David S. Tupler is the superior choice for dispute resolution involving an HOA conflicts in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale. He has served Broward County for more than 30 years, and is experienced in all aspects of real estate mediation and litigation.
HOA disputes in Broward County
Though residential HOA disputes might not involve highly expensive claims for damages compared to commercial real estate projects, they are still ripe for costly legal bills. The main reason is that property owners tend to get invested and emotional when it comes to matters affecting their homes. Homeowners may be willing to spend more time and money fighting a dispute with their HOA than a business owner in a similar situation.
One of the ways mediation can help cut through the needless spending on litigation costs is by hedging off the disagreements in the lawsuit before they spin further out of control. Parties often tend to solidify their positions as the case proceeds through litigation because they feel they have invested too much time, energy and money to simply walk away. Participating in early mediation can prevent this type of obstacle to productive settlement negotiations by narrowing the issues in dispute before the parties engage in emotionally charged arguments.
What types of HOA disputes can be resolved by mediation?
There are many reasons why an HOA and a homeowner can become tangled in a legal dispute. Any of the following types of disputes are ideal for mediation as a resolution over traditional litigation:
- claims that the HOA failed to maintain common areas up to minimum standards;
- homeowners seeking to change an aspect of their home or yard after the HOA rejected their architectural plans;
- homeowners disputing the validity of HOA board of director elections;
- HOAs failing to open their records or books for inspection at the request of a homeowner;
- disputes over the amount that HOAs are entitled to collect in dues or whether they are entitled to attorney's fees and late fees for collection efforts;
- failure of an HOA to make appropriate accommodations for disabled persons;
- a homeowner refusing to give up a pet that the HOA has deemed unacceptable in the development.
Given that there's is a long list of aspects of a homeowner's property that an HOA can control by virtue of its bylaws, the types of disputes that can arise between an HOA and a homeowner are varied, and the items listed above are but a small sampling.
Let us help resolve your dispute and avoid expensive litigation.
Common HOA disputes filed against homeowners
- homeowners refusing to pay HOA fees and collection efforts resulting in litigation;
- attempts by an HOA to have changes to the structure and land of a home in their development replaced to their original condition;
- an HOA defending against attempts by homeowners in their development from trying to have the board of directors or entire HOA removed;
- attempts by an HOA to force a homeowner to make required changes to their home or yard in accordance with the HOA bylaws;
- the filing of a lien on a property by the HOA for failure to pay required HOA dues or make a required change to a homeowner's property
One of the common arguments that an HOA will face against a homeowner in a property dispute is that the HOA is unreasonably or arbitrarily attempting to enforce the bylaw or regulation that is at issue in the case. It is typical for homeowners to point to other examples of issues within the development or community for which the HOA did not attempt to enforce similar regulations against other homeowners. These types of arguments can make for heated litigation and can derail any hope of settlement if there is not an impartial third party involved who can cut through the long list of grievances between the parties.
Using mediation to resolve Your HOA dispute
Even in the most hotly contested HOA conflicts, there's potential for mediation to resolve the ultimate issues. Given that these real estate disputes likely involve tense relationships between neighbors and/or property managers, a mediator is an ideal intermediary to cut through the personal background issues and focus the parties on an acceptable resolution for all involved. A mediator is neutral in these situations and can approach the issues from a fresh perspective that is not tainted by the history of the relationship between the parties.
A little compromise can save a lot of money
Using a mediator with extensive experience in the subject matter at the heart of your dispute can help streamline the issues that the parties must negotiate, and speed up the discussion of the relevant facts. The parties will spend less time explaining the factual background of the dispute to the mediator and more time focusing on finding an acceptable settlement agreement to resolve the HOA dispute.
Contact HOA dispute mediator David S. Tupler at (954) 383-6577 to reserve a date for conflict resolution. Please reserve your mediation date as early as possible to ensure that it works for all parties.