Do I Have To Pay Attorney Fees For Arbitration?

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My HOA’s attorney sent me a registered letter stating my fence was installed without prior approval. My fence was installed by Danielle Fence company and I do have a copy of the HOA approval to install fence. I faxed a copy of the approval to both the HOA and the attorney. Now, they are claiming they want 20 feet of my back yard because instead of fixing the pond correctly it’s easier for them to take 20 ft. At my cost I am to move the back fence 20 ft. They will not pay me for the land or the cost to move the fence. They stated I would have to pay a min fee of $350.00 for arbitration to their lawyers. 1) is this legal? 2) technically the bank still owners my home so don’t I need their approval? I am a special education teacher – we don’t make a lot of money and I work extremely hard to support myself. I don’t feel it’s fair for them to make demands and expect to have it for free. Any suggestions or advise will be appreciated. Thank you!

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

My advice is to talk to an attorney. Whether they can force you to move your fence depends on a lot of factors, including the terms of your HOA paperwork. A good real estate attorney can help you review the appropriate documents, and know what your rights are.

Procedurally, it is not unusual for HOAs to have mandatory arbitration, though the cost is usually paid to the arbitrator, not the HOA’s attorney.

And yes, you should probably notify the bank that their security (your land) is being affected.

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Author: House Attorney