Friday, July 10, 2015
BUYER BEWARE!! Your HOA Answers to No One!!
The question I get several times a day asks who can the owner go to in order to file a complaint against their HOA. The unfortunate answer is: NO ONE. Unlike condominiums (COAs), the HOAs answer to NO ONE.
Florida does not regulate HOAs. There has been legislation posed the past two years authorizing the Department of Business & Professional Regulation to create a division to oversee HOAs, but the legislation failed so far both years. All we can do is try again next year.
Where does that leave the owner? Digging deep into their pockets to fund a private lawsuit, which can, for a 3-day trial, take 3-4 years and $135,000 - $150,000 to complete. Often the owner figures they will file the lawsuit and the HOA will settle quickly. That is a dangerous strategy because the HOAs don't settle all that often and if you drop the lawsuit, you owe the HOA it's legal fees and costs.
You best approach to your problem is to educate yourself about HOAs and attend board meeting, or better yet, don't buy a house in a HOA.