A homeowner’s association can add a considerable amount of value to the purchase of your property. From regular maintenance of the grounds to costly repairs, your association can prove extremely helpful in a variety of situations. However, finding yourself at odds with your homeowner’s association can lead to an entirely different experience. In some cases, these disputes can quickly elevate from simple disagreements to all out legal battles. Don’t go toe to toe with your homeowner’s association without the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced Chicago real estate attorney.
Common Areas of Dispute
Homeowner’s associations are governed under Illinois state law. However, disputes are still common and they can arise over a number of issues. Some of the most common include:
- Dues increase – Homeowner’s associations are funded through member dues, which are generally paid on a quarterly basis. These funds are used to pay for a various expenses within the community. It is not uncommon for the association to raise the amount of required dues from each homeowner. If residents do not agree with the rate increase, a dispute may develop.
- Rule interpretation – It may sound silly, but may homeowner’s association disputes arise over something as simple as a paint color or yard decoration. Most associations establish rules for the community, regarding the aesthetics of each property. For example, an association may prohibit certain paint colors on the exterior of the house. They may also prohibit the posting of signs in the yard or the placement of a basketball hoop in the driveway. A homeowner may interpret one of these rules differently than the association and make changes to his home that the association does not approve, leading to a disagreement.
- Maintenance responsibilities – Particularly in condominium communities, the homeowner’s association takes on a significant amount of building maintenance duties to promote the enjoyment of all residents within these connected housing structures. In some instances, the association may refuse to repair a specific problem and instead assert that the homeowner take on the responsibility. If the homeowner disagrees with this assessment, a dispute can easily arise.
When your homeowner’s association acts in a way that creates a dispute, it’s important that you take the appropriate steps to communicate your disagreement and attempt to resolve it. The first step is to too carefully review the association rules, including any changes or amendments that may have been during your residence in the community. Ensure that you understand what the rules require. If you need assistance, contact an Illinois real estate attorney for guidance.
Follow the dispute policies as set out in the rules. Your association guidelines may require an alternative form of dispute resolution, like mediation or arbitration. If this is the case, take steps to institute the appropriate proceedings. These types of arrangements are designed to seek out a mutually agreeable compromise between you and your homeowner’s association. If alternative dispute resolution is not required or successful, a court proceedings may prove necessary to resolve the dispute.
If you are in an ongoing dispute with your homeowner’s association, contact an experienced Chicago real estate attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Howard C. Berkson, LLC at (312) 800-3979 for a consultation about the merits of your case and options for resolution.