If you have made every effort to work things out with your HOA board and have been unsuccessful, you should consider using arbitration to resolve your dispute as opposed to litigation. Prolonged litigation between homeowners and their HOAs doesn't benefit anyone. Litigation can cost a homeowner anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 and it often takes two years or more to get to trial. The longer the case goes on the more in attorneys' fees the parties spend and the more entrenched they become in their positions. Prolonged litigation also tends to deeply divide communities.
But even if the homeowner wins, the HOA board can appeal which would cost the homeowner an additional $20,000 or more and another year of their life. Then, if the homeowner wins on appeal, the HOA may have to reimburse the homeowner their $70,000 in attorneys' fees. Success right? Well, maybe not. If the $70,000 is paid out by the HOA insurance company, the HOA insurance rates will surely rise and that cost will be passed on to the community. If, on the other hand, the $70,000 is paid directly from community funds, the community will either have less money to spend on maintaining and upgrading the community or the HOA could make a special assessment and you and your neighbors would have to pay extra money to replenish the funds spent in litigation. Your friends and neighbors might view your win in court as a punishment to them.
Solve Disputes in 60 to 90 Days
So, litigating homeowner disputes in court doesn't make much sense. But allowing HOA boards to have unchecked power and discretion is not a good idea either. To have happy and healthy communities there needs to be a balance. There needs to be an easy, open and honest way for disputes to be resolved without creating antagonism in the community and draining community funds. Arbitration is a common sense way to get these disputes resolved. However, not all arbitration programs are created equal. Some standard arbitration programs can be as expensive, or even more expensive, than litigating in court. But the arbitration program through Homeowner Legal Services was specifically designed for HOA disputes. Using the HLS arbitration program, your dispute will be resolved by a fully qualified retired judge within 60-90 days so you and your community can move forward. Disputes should not consume years of your life and thousands of dollars. Get in, get out and move on.