Action 9: How can you push back against HOAs?

It’s one of the complaints that Action 9 gets the most: homeowners who are frustrated with actions, or inaction, by their homeowners’ associations.

Many viewers ask: How can I push back?

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Zachary Taylor said he is angry with the HOA for Park Place Townhouses.

The homeowner said he has been at odds with the HOA for years since the board decided to renovate the neighborhood.

The contractor was supposed to refurbish fencing and build a dumpster surround but didn’t, Taylor said.

Taylor told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke the company used the wrong nails on the gutters and that they didn’t hold up in a recent storm.

There was a warranty, but Taylor said he feels the HOA didn’t press the issue hard enough.

When Taylor asked the HOA for financial records, he said the board gave him some of them but not all.

“I’ve been a CPA for 22 years,” Taylor said. “They, in my opinion, are supposed to have a fiduciary duty.”

Stoogenke asked Taylor’s HOA management company about his complaints.

The company disagrees with almost everything Taylor said.

Taylor told Stoogenke he would like to report the HOA to a state agency, but one does not exist in North Carolina.

The General Assembly can change that, and the state’s Real Estate Commission said lawmakers have tried multiple times over the past decade but have failed.

The commission’s lawyer said the reason is because of lobbyists and developers.

“Where would a homeowner that is a member of an HOA have a method for redress?” Taylor asked. “And that’s where an oversight board would help. Someone impartial who can look at the bylaws and say, ‘Hey, this is what is required.’”

Taylor said he considered hiring a lawyer to fight his HOA but it was too expensive.

“I’m just not going to pay that money for what may be a very small return,” he said.

Taylor finally decided to join the HOA board in hopes of addressing his concerns.

However, he had a falling out with other members and was voted out.

A lawyer who focuses on neighborhood issues, Zac Moretz, said if you have a problem with your HOA:

  • See if your HOA’s bylaws help or hurt your cause.

  • Talk with your neighbors. Strength in numbers.

  • Try meeting with the board as a group, not by yourself.

  • Many homeowners don’t realize state law says you don’t have to wait for the scheduled election to vote people off the board.

  • Talk to a lawyer, but know it’ll cost you.

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