Real estate Q&A: What can homeowners do when the HOA board isn't doing its job?

Gary M. Singer, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Business News

Q: Our association’s board of directors is not doing their job. Overgrown landscaping, boats and inoperable vehicles in driveways, and houses that need painting are among the many problems in our community. What can a homeowner do when their board and management company are ineffective? — Margaret

A: The board of directors of your community association must maintain the common areas and enforce the rules and regulations. This is not an easy task, and many associations hire a property manager to help.

Board members have their own lives, jobs and concerns. Even so, having volunteered to take a leadership role in their community, board members need to fulfill their responsibilities.

The first step in getting your neighborhood back in shape is to let the board know your concerns.

Gather other members who feel the same way and request a meeting with the board.

You can also sign up to air your grievances at the next board meeting. Cite specific examples and maintain a professional and helpful tone when you do.

If this does not work and enough of your neighbors agree with you, you can have a recall vote. If this succeeds, you can remove some or all board members and replace them with volunteers willing to do the job.


Another possibility is running for the board yourself at the next election and improving the board’s performance from the inside.

If all else fails, you can sue your board to make them enforce the rules and properly maintain the grounds.

Litigation is expensive and time-consuming, and often the losing party pays the winner’s attorney fees, so this option should be taken only as a last resort.

Another option is to move to a community the more suits your standards. Your neighbors may be OK with the way things are run and not want things to change.

Finding the right community for you may be the best choice.

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