When you moved into your condo, you had no trouble complying with the CC&Rs set out by the Homeowners' Association. You appreciate that the HOA keeps the property well-maintained, for example, and that smoking is prohibited in common areas.
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.
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.