Florida Residents & Homeowners’ Association Disputes Over Painting
Florida citizens upset over their homeowners’ association charging them for painting that had to be done on residences have garnered news headlines of late. This is a common type of dispute that arises between residents and their homeowners’ association; a maintenance service that has been written into residents’ contracts increasing their association dues; and residents being frustrated about it. Is the homeowners’ association in the wrong here?
A homeowners’ association board has tremendous power and every right to follow through with a maintenance requirement like painting residences and charging owners for that requirement. It does not need to take a vote from resident owners first; however, a majority of the homeowners can demand a recall election and elect new board members if they are frustrated by decisions like these.
The Ability to Levy Special Assessments
These types of fees are typically collected each month by homeowners’ associations to assist with improving and maintaining all properties in the association. While already-established fees often cover regular maintenance costs, associations can levy special assessments—like this painting fee—if reserve funds are not enough to cover a large project that’s badly needed.
The Rights of Associations If Owners Fail To Pay Fees
If residents fail to pay these fees, the association can take action against the owner, depending on how the specific contract is worded. From late fees, to placing a lien on the property, foreclosing to collect payments, or initiating litigation, the association has its options. It is the association’s obligation to ensure that members pay these fees so that common areas and other services do not suffer.
In a nutshell, homeowners’ associations are quasi-governmental organizations, bound by the contracts that they enter into with homeowners and their bylaws. If the governing documents allow for the association to increase dues and/or levy fees, it is legal to do so, pursuant to the contract that owners entered into with that association when they purchased that home. Owners are obligated to pay an increase that their board approves, as well as any that are specified in the bylaws that are automatically triggered by certain events, for example, residences needing to be painted every 10 years, etc.
Options for Homeowners
Homeowners who are frustrated do have some options for making their voices heard: As previously mentioned, they can run for a position on the board, as well as lodge a complaint with the board of directors, board president, and/or the state licensing agency.
Contact Our Florida Homeowners’ Association Attorneys
Our skilled, experienced homeowners’ association attorneys have served a number of association clients throughout Florida when it comes to disputes and potential legal action. Contact us today at HD Law Partners to find out more about our services.