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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Some homeowners' association boards have too much power

When California residents purchase a home, part of the reason they do so may be in order to have the freedom to decorate it as they wish. Painting the walls, the exterior and planting flowers, among other things, should be part of that experience. However, some homeowners' association boards have too much say in how homeowners can decorate their homes.

This is the problem one homeowner is having in another state. She decided to paint her shutters, and the HOA board told her that she failed to obtain the proper authorization. It began fining her and accusing her of negatively impacting the value of the homes in the community. Then, the HOA board began to threaten that it would place a lien on her home and file a foreclosure action against her. 

In an attempt to end the controversy over her paint choice, the woman simply removed the shutters, but things such continued to go downhill. Her HOA responded with more threats. She and other residents then followed the HOA rules and requested a special meeting, which was met with more threatening letters from the board. The residents won out, however, and replaced the board. Eventually, an agreement was made regarding the shutters, and the North Carolina community learned that banding together could defeat unreasonable rules and the abuse of power.

California residents facing power-hungry homeowners' association boards may take a page from this community's actions. They used the rules that the HOA was purportedly enforcing in order to make a stand. Anyone who feels that this would be the way to battle an abuse of power by an HOA board may do the same, and it would more than likely help to involve an attorney who can help them understand their rights and take action to enforce them.

Source:, "What's wrong with this house? Homeowner fined thousands by HOA", Diane Wilson and Catherine Chestnutt, Feb. 1, 2018

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