Over the years I’ve heard many, many stories that were, unfortunately, exercises in futility. These stories followed the same basic pattern, except the names and places changed. A homeowner in a dispute with his HOA exchanges emails/letters/calls with the board or HOA attorney or manager, one or all, citing blatant violations of the governing documents and/or state laws.
The responses from the board or its hired hands repeatedly deny any wrongdoing or failure to comply with its legal obligations. The HOA responses often include extreme positions and interpretations of its obligations, and ludicrous defenses of its position. Further exchanges only serve to increase the anger and frustration of the homeowner with a good possibility of additional attorney fees for answering his emails.
The bottom line is that the homeowner must sue to get the HOA to meet its obligations under the law – no state agency is going to get involved. These exchanges only serve as evidence of the board’s bad faith actions and flagrant violations of its obligations. And that’s all they are good for. Showing them to the media, and if they air the story, has no legal effect on the HOA. Showing them to your fellow neighbors gets you nowhere as many have discovered.
Unless these exchanges are geared to possible and eventual legal action, they are otherwise exercises in futility.
Possibly, only possibly, can these documented exchanges become useful when sent to your state representative demanding legislation for state enforcement of HOA board violations. Homeowners must demand substantial penalties and fines against the board and individual board members, if warranted.
The continued presumption by state legislatures that the HOA will act in good faith and obey the law and governing documents has been disproven time and time by the HOA’s wanton abuse of the laws. This desired response by the legislature will only happen when a sufficiently large volume of documented complaints are received from many homeowners.