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Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Homeowners' Association members have rights

When purchasing a home here in California, one of the draws may have been the amenities that the community provides. More than likely, those amenities came with dues to a homeowners' association. Many people may not understand that homeowners' association members have rights, as well as the responsibilities placed on them by the HOA. 

First, the owner of a unit or residence has the right to privacy within the home. The HOA can only enter for repairs (if that is part of the deal) or in an emergency situation in order to prevent damage to homes. The owner should still give permission before anyone enters to make minor repairs.

HOAs usually have officers that govern the association. HOA members have the right to participate in the election of those officers. Owners also have the right to use the common areas of the community, which could include a pool, tennis courts and picnic areas, just to name a few. If an owner gets into a dispute with the HOA, California law requires that the parties use mediation to attempt to resolve the issue before going to court. Members may also weigh in on any rule changes proposed by the HOA.

Often, homeowners' association members simply pay their dues without really understanding what their rights are. Anyone with questions may benefit from having an attorney review the HOA rules and guidelines and explain his or her rights. Understanding what an HOA can and cannot do may help alleviate any trepidation and perhaps any future misunderstandings that could lead to problems.

Source: homeguides.sfgate.com, "Homeowners Association Member Rights", Anna Assad, Accessed on Oct. 2, 2017

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