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Whom Does an HOA Lawyer Represent?

An Annapolis HOA Lawyer at Oliveri & Larsen Can Protect Your Association

An HOA is a private association often formed by a real estate developer for managing and providing services to a residential subdivision, condominium, or townhome community. It is a separate legal entity, much like a corporation. It has its rights and responsibilities distinct from those of individual homeowners.

An HOA lawyer does not represent individual homeowners but the HOA as a whole. The lawyer’s duty is to the organization and not to the individual members of the organization. This unique client-lawyer relationship shapes the role of an HOA lawyer.

Evaluating Decisions

One of the critical duties of an HOA lawyer is to evaluate the decisions made by the HOA board. The lawyer reviews these decisions to ensure they comply with the existing laws and the HOA’s governing documents. The lawyer advises the board accordingly if a decision could lead to a legal dispute.

Updating on New Laws

Laws governing HOAs continually evolve. An HOA lawyer keeps the board updated on any new laws or changes to existing ones that may impact the HOA’s operations. For instance, if a new law affects how HOAs handle delinquent assessments, the lawyer informs the board and helps implement necessary changes to stay compliant.

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts

HOAs enter into various contracts – from landscaping and maintenance services to contracts with property management companies. An HOA lawyer drafts, reviews, and negotiates these contracts to protect the HOA’s interests and prevent future legal issues.

Handling Disputes

Disputes within an HOA community are not uncommon. They can arise between the HOA and homeowners or between homeowners themselves. An HOA lawyer handles such disputes, representing the HOA in negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, or lawsuits if necessary.

Enforcing Rules

HOAs have rules and regulations that homeowners must follow. When homeowners violate these rules, an HOA lawyer steps in to enforce the rules. The lawyer sends violation notices, imposes fines, and initiates legal proceedings against the violating homeowner if needed.

Advising on Financial Matters

Financial issues such as assessment collection, budgeting, and planning are crucial for an HOA’s operation. An HOA lawyer provides advice on these matters, ensuring the HOA’s financial practices adhere to legal requirements.

Deciphering the Relationship: HOA Lawyer and the HOA

The relationship between an HOA lawyer and the HOA is professional, centered on providing legal advice and representation to the HOA. Here are three examples that illustrate this relationship:

  • Guiding rule enforcement: Consider a situation where a homeowner consistently violates HOA rules – perhaps by painting their house a prohibited color. The HOA board decides to take action. In this scenario, the HOA lawyer guides the enforcement process. The lawyer drafts a violation notice, ensuring it complies with the HOA’s governing documents and state laws. If the homeowner continues to violate the rules, the lawyer advises on the next steps, including imposing fines.
  • Reviewing contract agreements: In another instance, the HOA plans to hire a new property management company. A contract needs to be drafted. The HOA lawyer reviews the proposed agreement, ensuring it protects the HOA’s interests. The lawyer also ensures the contract complies with state laws and the HOA’s governing documents. If any issues arise during the contract’s term, the lawyer provides legal advice and representation to the HOA.
  • Advising on new laws: Suppose the state legislature passes a new law affecting HOAs. The law could pertain to anything from assessment collection to dispute resolution procedures. In this scenario, the HOA lawyer informs the HOA board about the new law. The lawyer explains the law’s implications for the HOA and advises on necessary changes to stay compliant.

An Annapolis HOA Lawyer at Oliveri & Larsen Can Protect Your Association

The HOA lawyer you choose can be crucial to ensure your association gets the protection it needs. For legal support, speak with an Annapolis HOA lawyer at Oliveri & Larsen. Contact us online or call us at 410-295-3000 to schedule a consultation. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients in Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland.

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