Home associations are often far more powerful than many home owners realize. Part of the reason is that local governments have gradually given HOA's increasing regulation and authority over the sewers and streets in your neighborhood. This may help the city government save money, but it also leaves you at the mercy of the HOA, with fines, fees, and other punitive measures.
You find yourself involved in a dispute over your property, and you want a resolution that will maintain and enforce your ownership rights. You've heard that many people choose mediation over litigation and you're wondering if that's the right option for your situation. While an attempt to negotiate is almost always a good first step, there are reasons why litigation may be necessary to obtain the outcome you want. To understand why, you first need a working knowledge of the difference between mediation and litigation.
Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions most people make. While homes often require some form of upgrades or replacements, if a home has serious defects, it is the seller's responsibility to disclose this information. Most states have laws requiring sellers to disclose all important material facts about a home, including any known defects. California has some of the most strict requirements for disclosures in real estate transactions. There is specific section on standard California real estate forms where the seller is supposed to make disclosures. When a seller fails to disclose material defects that affect a property's value, this is known as nondisclosure. In these cases, the homebuyer may be entitled to compensation for the defects discovered.
Buffington Law Firm's Real Estate Litigation Attorneys have considerable experience in dealing with situations in which a neighbor decides to badly damage or destroy our client's trees. We have also successfully defended clients who inadvertantly removed or destroyed the trees on the property of an adjoining landowner.
The Orange County business and real estate litigation attorneys at Buffington Law Firm have dealt with many cases involving homeowner's associations ("HOAs"). HOAs play an increasingly important role in California and other states. Courts have recognized that HOAs often function as quasi-governmental entities that exercise significant control over the members within a given association. This can be a good thing. A well-run HOA can help preserve home values by preventing disharmonious or substandard architecture or landscaping within a neighborhood, and by enforcing reasonable standards. On the other hand, HOAs can be intrusive and sometimes can unreasonably interfere with a homeowner's quiet enjoyment of his or her property. Because of the power that HOAs usually wield, this can and sometimes does lead to litigation between homeowners and the HOA. In this brief Blog article, I will discuss a common conflict of interest issue involving HOA attorneys.