Legal Action Against Your HOA

Many Idaho homeowner associations are beginning to realize the collective risk of their HOA is beyond their scope and are hiring a professional association management services. A qualified association manager acts as the mediator to interpret their CCRs, assists in governing their membership and keeps the peace with homeowners.  Often, an unsuspecting Board member who hasn’t received the proper HOA training or who lacks the conflict negotiation skills will find themselves in uncomfortable situations and need the experience of a qualified manager. 

As a homeowner, if you feel that you have exhausted all reasonable options with your Board, consult with an experienced association manager in your area to assess the merits of your case, and to advise you on the best course of action.  Find one that has experience with interpreting CCRs, has handled membership dues delinquency and longevity in the industry.  Another feature to look for in an association manager is whether they are in good standing the Community Association Institute which is a governing body of HOA managers and provides guidelines for managers to comply with.

In Idaho, MGM Association Management has mediated issues involving disputes with compliance, enforcement and assessments for both the homeowner and their associations for over 20 years.  MGM has seen their share of disputes.   According to Mike Madson, CEO of MGM Association Management, “I have seen passionate homeowners who attempt to pursue legal action, only to spend thousands of dollars to end up with no resolution, plus the experience festers a negative culture within their community.  Many homeowners lack the understanding of their rights and are often driven by emotion.  MGM is here to help homeowners interpret their covenants, mediate between the association and the homeowner, so that unnecessary legal action is taken.”

In certain cases, if your association as a whole is not performing its job or if a nonperforming board member cannot be removed, a homeowner might have to take action against the HOA. The HOA has certain obligations under both Idaho state and federal laws; it must act in the best interests of the community, must perform its duties reasonably and fairly, and may not act in a discriminatory or capricious manner.

Provided that the homeowner has exhausted all options to approach their Board and attempted, in good faith, to address an issue, a legal suit might be warranted if a homeowner can show that the HOA is acting in an unreasonable or discriminatory manner by not enforcing the rules; or if the HOA fails to put the community’s interests above any individual interest.  Your covenants, conditions and restrictions should be reviewed thoroughly by a qualified association management professional before pursuing legal action.  In many cases, CCRs and subsequent amendments may be out-dated or were written poorly, leaving the litigation process frustrating. 

If you have a situation that seems to be headed for legal action or to get a better understanding of how to interpret your CCRs, contact MGM at (208) 846-9189 or visit www.gomgm.com.



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