Homeowner Association Law ("HOA Law")

HOA Lawyer in Weston, FL

A homeowner association (HOA) is typically a planned community or subdivision whereby a legal entity is created, i.e. the corporation, with the intent of making and enforcing rules and restrictions for the properties within that development. In Florida, the purchase of a property within an HOA jurisdiction is an automatic member of the community and is required to pay dues called “HOA fees.” A set of documents, a.k.a. governing documents, govern the use and restrictions of said community. The set of documents applicable to a given community involve the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, the Bylaws, and the Rules and Regulations. There is a particular hierarchy as to the authority of these documents and the manner in which those conditions and restrictions are applied and enforced, along with the statutory duties, rights and obligations outlined in Chapter 720, Florida Statutes.

Unlike the undivided interest in the common elements found under a condominium association, the common areas in a homeowner association is defined by statute as “all real property within a community which is owned or leased by an association or dedicated for use or maintenance by the association or its members, including, regardless of whether title has been conveyed to the association: (a) real property the use of which is dedicated to the association or its members by a recorded plat; or (b) real property committed by a declaration of covenants to be leased or conveyed to the association.”

Types of Legal Issues in a COA and/or HOA

A variety of legal issues can arise in both the condo and homeowner association setting. These include but are not limited to:

  • Covenant Enforcement;
  • Injury Claims in Common Areas;
  • Improper Special Assessments;
  • Improper Budget Increases;
  • Improper Use of Reserve Funds;
  • Improper Leasing Restrictions;
  • Improper Rights of First Refusal;
  • Violations of Fair Housing Act and other discriminatory practices;
  • Selective Enforcement Claims;
  • Pet Restrictions;
  • Interference with Quiet Use and Enjoyment;
  • Architectural Review Claims and Improper Enforcement;
  • Improper Use of Funds by Directors;
  • Election Fraud;