As a leader in homeowners association management, we have been asked many times, “How does a community reduce its legal expenses?” As you keep reading, you may find a solution to this question.
Have you ever heard the expression, “His experience is a mile wide but an inch deep?” Well, you may be experiencing that exact situation, and it is not a good place to be in the legal world of HOA property management. There are so many different legal questions that refer to property rights, liability issues, etc. they would be too numerous to mention.
But here are some of the major questions we receive:
- My neighbor is infringing on my property line, what can I do?
- A homeowner has not paid thier assessment in years, should the HOA foreclose on this owner?
- What is the role of the HOA in solving unrestrained and dangerous pet issues?
Protecting Property Values & Rights
Protecting the property value within a community can be a challenge. Each community has its own identity and while some may contain first time owners, other communities have owners with a high six figure home investment. When owners become engaged in disagreements over property rights such as drainage issues or potential tree damage to a neighbor’s fence or home, the property manager needs to have the resources available and the training to know how situations like these should be handled legally.
What is the Best Way to Handle Legal Issues?
With over 14 years of experience, we realize the best source of information for addressing HOA legal issues and providing training on HOA law is to utilize a qualified HOA/real estate attorney and paralegal. A management company that aligns itself with a law firm which understands associations do not have unlimited funds, and that a law firm’s goal should be to resolve an issue quickly and accurately while staying within budget, creates a successful and long term relationship that an HOA can build on.
The management company industry seems to believe the only resolution to legal questions is to have an attorney respond with a written opinion, which in many cases can be found in the covenants. This results in a minimum cost to the community of at least one hour of the attorney’s time, which in most cases is hundreds of dollars. I am not saying that an attorney opinion in some cases is not warranted, but I am saying that a qualified paralegal, in the same office, could probably provide a similar path to resolution, at no cost while directing the board to the section in the covenants that may cover that exact issue.
Empowering Knowledge Over Fee Structures
The primary law firm we recommend (www.mortez&skufca.com) trains our property managers and our board members how to interpret covenants and bylaws, which provides a path to a community’s success.
The law firm you use should be an advocate for HOA education and a leader in homeowners association law. Moretz & Skufca’s first priority is to educate their client base by attending board meetings once a year at no cost to the community. Diana Kennedy is a paralegal at the firm and she is also the HOA operations manager. She has over 17 years of HOA experience and she wants to share that information with property managers and board members.
Want to start reducing your legal fees and empowering your board with information? Take the guesswork out of legal expenses and contact us for more guidance at 704-321-1556, firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the comment box below.