Did My Homeowner’s Association Exceed their Authority? How Can I Get Them to Stop Harrassing Me?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I live in an HOA in Palm Springs CA, two years ago I was on the board at that time there was a law suite against the board (Tipton -vs- Pueblo Sands Homeowners Association) The law suite was to remove some of the board members, myself included, it was my understanding that a judge threw the suite out of court, so the association had a meeting and a vote. Tipton lost the vote and at that time myself and another board member resigned from the board. “So Tipton ended up getting on the board, the board decided to pay for the legal fees, both the Defendants and the Plaintiffs, with an assessment. There was never any special meeting held to vote on the assessment, the new board made the decision without the homeowners consent.

So the Board decided to change Management Companies and have the new company sent out the letter for the assessment.. I have asked, in writing, for the minutes of the special meeting and was told, in writing, that the minutes and the draft of the minutes were lost. I know for a fact that there was no special meeting. Now the new management company is sending me late notices and using my monthly association dues payment to apply to the special assessment.

I have notified the Management Company and the Board, in witting that I will not pay the assessment until, I am furnished with a copy of the minutes of the special meeting. Is there any legal action I can take to stop the harassment from the Management Company?”It sounds like the Board probably exceeded its authority. But your question seems to be more about whether there is a procedure you can follow to prevent them from following through on their decision. There probably is, but you’ll have to look to your Association’s documents to determine the details.

Question: For the benefit of other readers: Many property developments, in California and elsewhere, have private agreements between and amongst the property owners. These agreements “run with the land” (i.e., are binding on all future owners) by virtue of being recorded against the property in the form of declarations of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (commonly known as CC&Rs).Many CC&Rs provide for the establishment of a Homeowner’s Association to manage the day-to-day operations of the development, and especially any commonly owned property (e.g., private roads, community garden, etc.). The HOA can be established in various ways, and often has its own sets of rules (bylaws, etc.).

All of these documents must be reviewed when there is a dispute between an individual homeowner and the Association, since any of them may have terms which control or limit the ways in which the owner or the Association may behave and may enforce their rights. For example, your CC&Rs may provide for mediation or arbitration of disputes, in which case you would have to go by that route instead of suing.
Ultimately, however, there is always some means for redress of grievances. Be aware that the means may be quite expensive, particularly if it involves litigation.