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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

What can homeowners' association boards do?

Living in certain California communities of single-family homes comes at a price. Every month, homeowners' association boards around the state collect monthly or quarterly dues. Many residents end up wondering just what bang they get for their bucks.

In addition to overseeing common area maintenance and certain amenities, an HOA board has substantial powers. It can make sure that residents follow the community's rules, including the upkeep on their homes. This includes assessing fines for failing to follow the rules. An HOA board can tell a homeowner what color to paint -- or repaint as the case may be -- the house.

HOA boards can also make special assessments for unexpected repairs or needs of the community. These payments are above and beyond the regular dues. Failure to pay the regular or special assessments can result in court action.

If the HOA receives a judgment against a homeowner, it can then use post-judgment means of collection such as wage garnishment to collect on the debt. Under certain circumstances, the HOA can even pursue a foreclosure action. This is the power that these boards have.

Most people simply pay their dues each month and never consider what could happen if they end up on the wrong side of an argument with their homeowners' association boards. If that happens, California homeowners have rights. It may be in their best interests to consult with an attorney. He or she can provide advice regarding a homeowner's rights and legal options. It may be possible to resolve the situation without the need for litigation, but if it becomes necessary, assistance could prove invaluable.

Source:, "HOAs: Five things you should know about homeowners' associations", Jessica Boehm, Feb. 7, 2018

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