Before moving into a home with a homeowner’s association (HOA), you should familiarize yourself with Texas HOA laws. While HOAs provide benefits, they also potentially pose challenges. If you find yourself in dispute with your HOA, our real estate attorney Austin Texas is here to help.
In Texas, two types of HOAs exist:
- HOAs for condominium owners
- HOAs for homeowners in neighboring subdivisions
Technically the latter is legally defined as a “property owners’ associations.” But in practical use, we refer to both types of entities as HOAs. HOAs are established by a document known as a declaration. The declaration identifies to overarching property subject to the HOA, outlines the responsibilities and rights of owners, and describes the management of the property.
Rules vs. Laws
While the HOA does govern the condominium or neighborhood, Texas law sets limits on the authority of an HOA. These limits on their authority include:
- HOAs cannot impose restrictions on property use that are not contained in their declaration or bylaws
- HOAs cannot levy fines unless the fines are established in the HOA’s declaration or bylaws AND follows procedures required under the Texas Property Code
- HOAs cannot enforce its rules against some property owners and not others
Common HOA Disputes
The modern intent of HOAs are to have well-managed neighborhoods. However, HOAs are known to overstep their bounds. If you find yourself in dispute with your HOA, know you are in good company. Most commonly homeowners take issue with the following, HOAs’:
- Membership rate increases
- Attempt to levy unlawful fines
- Attempt to collect late fees without providing lawful initial notice of balance
- Attempt to impose new restrictions on property use
- Lawn care requirements
- House color regulations
- Playground equipment
- Vehicles on property limitations
- Fencing regulations
- Outdoor decorations (including flags) regulations
- Mailbox color regulations
- Additions to property (including garages, in-law suites, sheds) limitations
- Failure to maintain financial or corporate records
In most cases, the HOA is authorized to regulate the aforementioned issues. However, disputes arise when HOAs engage in selective enforcement or arbitrary refusal to approve a property owner’s proposed changes. Disputes may also arise from a HOAs overall failure to enforce its’ rule, resulting in neighborhood nuisances. If you have received notices from your HOA warning you of impending action they may take against you, do not ignore them. Your HOA may seek to levy the following against you:
- Continuous harassment
- Lawsuits for breach of contract
- Substantial fines
Hire a Real Estate Attorney Austin Texas
If you are in dispute with your HOA, you must seek representation immediately. At AZ Law Firm, we will protect your rights and seek a favorable resolution to your dispute. Your home is intrinsically personal and sacred; we’re here to help protect your home and your rights. Give us a call for a free consultation, and we’ll begin strategizing your defense.
Our clients receive individualized attention from an attorney, not an assistant or paralegal. Although we handle a wide range of legal issues, our attorneys are limited to practicing a few practice areas to give you the specialized care you need. We are compassionate attorneys that will listen closely to ensure your voice is heard and to implement potential strategies that most other attorney will miss. Call us for a free consult with our real estate attorney Austin Texas to see why we vastly differ than most law firms.
- seeking the relief you need
- evaluating and tailoring a creative strategy for your individual case
- explaining the nuances and subtleties of the law in a clear and concise manner
- effectively communicating with you in a way that will exceed your expectations
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Call us and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, our criminal lawyers will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.