Suing a homeowners association

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Latest post 06-14-2007 8:06 PM by SparkyM. 10 replies.
  • 06-13-2007 9:08 AM

    Question [=?] Suing a homeowners association

    Who do I file against when I am taking a HOA to small claims court? The HOA does not really have an actual address, except for our property management company. When I go to the sheriff's office to fill out the summons, do I fill them out for each board member or send it to the management company? Confusing - yep!

    Thanks,
    Beth
  • 06-13-2007 11:15 AM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    "Who do I file against when I am taking a HOA to small claims court?"

    I dunno -- have you checked whether the entity has a registered agent with the state? If the property management company is the agent, then you'd serve the registered agent if the property management company.

    "When I go to the sheriff's office to fill out the summons, do I fill them out for each board member or send it to the management company?"

    We can't comment on NC law here, but I presume, again, you'd serve the registered agent of the HOA.

    If you mention what this is about, we can probably offer an opinion as to whether you're wasting your time.
  • 06-13-2007 3:33 PM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    Sorry I forgot to put what I was suing for. I was in a hurry this morning.

    I live in a planned unit development - townhomes. My unit is detached, basically just a house and I do own the surrounding property. The board ordered the landscaper to prune some trees back on the entire property. In accordance with our town laws, they were to only be trimmed back 1/3 at the MOST. I had a 10-12 foot wax myrtle that was hacked down to about 4 inches. They have been served a notice of violation by the town and it could result in civil penalties. So, at least I've got the town at my back.

    Thanks!!!!
    Beth
  • 06-13-2007 3:43 PM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    By the way, it was the town that recommended that I sue in small claims court. They cut about 140 trees on the property and then they had some cut on a major street and lied about it. They told us that the town ordered them cut.

    Beth
  • 06-14-2007 8:16 AM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    What are you hoping to gain, new trees, etc?
  • 06-14-2007 8:30 AM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    They just cut one tree on my property. I would like that one replaced. I have three estimates.
  • 06-14-2007 10:29 AM In reply to

    Warning [=*#] re: Suing a homeowners association

    Question... have you gone to a board meeting and requested that the HOA pay for the damages, prior to escalation to suing?

    Suing an HOA is a roundabout way of suing yourself, as the legal fees will be coming out of the HOA's general accounts, of which you pay into each month.

    Where there any other neighbors affected by the tree cutting event? I would gather them all up and head to an HOA meeting to work it out in that manner, prior to heading to court - might save everyone some money in the long run.

  • 06-14-2007 3:07 PM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    Oh yeah. I went to the last meeting and gave them one month for their decision. And yes, there are others who will probably sue as well. On anoather note, I notied today that they did plant about 10 - 12 trees back along a major street. Our HOA does have good insurance, and it may come to that. If the trees that were cut down - about 150 are not showing a substantial amount of growth within one year, our town will fine them $100.00 per day per tree, then $200.00 up to $400.00.

    We do have a good amount in reserves as well.

    Thanks,
    Beth
  • 06-14-2007 4:53 PM In reply to

    re: Suing a homeowners association

    "We do have a good amount in reserves as well."

    Reserves are for capital improvements, NOT to cover the ...whatever... of the landscaping company. Thier own insurance should cover them.

    The reserves the HOA has is for repair, maintenance, replacement, etc of whatever your common areas are. those should be lined out in your reserve study. (If your HOA doesn't have one, they should get one)
    If you use that money to cover your landscapers errors, (which you shouldn't) your dues will go up to fill the reserves back in, or there will be "special assessments" to cover needed items until the reserves are replaced.
  • 06-14-2007 8:06 PM In reply to

    News [|*|] re: Suing a homeowners association

    Anon, I believe that the original statement established at the HOA "instructed" the landscaper to cut the trees. Therefore, while you section on "reserves" is one hundred percent correct, it does not however apply here. Once the HOA "instructed" the contractor to take action, the responsibility resides with the HOA.

    To the original poster, just because you attended a meeting, does not suggest that effort (on both sides you and the HOA) was properly administered towards a solution. Yes, you do have the "right" to sue your HOA, but you are (again) effectively suing yourself - and the fees, court costs, etc, are funds that I am sure you might agree could/would be better spent as part of the HOA's budget, not with those that will collect them (process server, attorneys, courts, etc).
  • 06-14-2007 8:12 PM In reply to

    Note [#=#] re: Suing a homeowners association

    Beth,

    Also, you have no "authority" to give an HOA "one month" to respond to your issue. You have the right at the HOA meeting to be heard, and the HOA can take up the matter under advisement, and move to next meeting, etc. It would appear that based on the above comment, that you might have some errors in how you approached the HOA. While one might sympathize with the infringement of your property that you have suffered, it does not mean that your position is elevated to an "emergency" that an HOA would need a resident dictated timeframe to respond. Now if you filed suit, I believe that there would be an appropriate timeframe administrated by the Court. Also, it might be a good idea to review your HOA's governing documents for instructions on how to "appeal" or "address" the HOA's board, when there is a dispute such as yours and your neighbors. Please remember that you and your neighbors ELECTED the board, and they are still your neighbors.
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