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HOA legal fees

Discussion in 'Homeowners Associations & Boards' started by Koja, Oct 23, 2020.

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  1. Koja

    Koja Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello - This forum is great way for us normal people to get help!! I'm a landlord being sued by the HOA attorneys for failing to produce a copy of a lease renewal. They attempted to contact me via a certified letter sent to the leased property address. It was never signed for so it was returned to the attorneys. They sent the summons to the mailing address that was on the original lease they approved. They are suing me for court costs and attorney fees that amount to over $3k. Would the courts allow this kind of $amount to be imposed on a situation like this? This seems egregious. Thanks in advance for your response.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on the agreement/contract, etc., that you have with the HOA. Read your paperwork and contact an attorney if you don't understand.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You bought into the HOA. Did you not read and understand the CC&Rs/bylaws (your contract with the HOA by virtue of the purchase)?

    I'll bet that there is an attorney fee provision in the CC&Rs/bylaws. If so then, yes, the court can certainly award fines, costs and attorney fees to a judgment winner against an owner who is non-compliant.
     
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  4. Koja

    Koja Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not disputing the attorney fees. I'm questioning the fees they are charging which appears to be on the high side for such an infraction.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Well, how much are they charging for the infraction? And where is it stated that the charge is that amount for that infraction? Is there a document provided to all the owners at some point with a list that says if you do this we charge you that?
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You're not being sued for attorney's fees for the infraction...you're being sued for attorney's fees because they feel they have been forced to take the matter to court.
     
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    A situation like what? All you've told us is that the HOA is suing you "for failing to produce a copy of a lease renewal." Is that all there is to it? On what basis does the HOA contend that you must produce a copy? Is it a requirement of the HOA by-laws or CC&Rs? If so, and if those documents allow for the recovery of attorneys' fees, then you're going to be liable for fees and costs if you lose, and there aren't many lawsuits that can be handled for less than $3,000 in fees.

    The nature of the "infraction" doesn't determine the appropriate amount of fees. If the HOA hired a lawyer who charges $300 per hour and the lawyer spent 10 hours on the case, then that's $3,000.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Choices have consequences.
    You chose to buy a property controlled by an HOA.
    HOAs are notorious for a myriad of rules, heavy handed control, and exorbitant fees for those who disobey their rules.
    We reap what we sow.
    We pay for what we don't know.
     
  9. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Did you ever notify them of a correct address where you could receive a notice?
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Ben Franklin must have anticipated the advent of HOAs when he said:

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Our Founders may have been flawed as some might judge them today; in my view they were courageous, wise, prescient, and bold.

    I've always ranked Franklin in the top 15 of his peers.

    I've never seen any advantages in buying property and allowing OTHERS to regulate my use of my real estate.

    Why?

    The governments of our land assigned themselves such a role, allowing me little say in the matter.

    No need to buy a double dip of stupidity, no matter how its marketed.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yep. No HOA for me, ever. There are enough regulations regarding home ownership and most of those are revenue based. I paid $1000 last year for a building permit for a back yard workshop. $500 of that was for plan review, which took all of about 30 minutes.
     
  13. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Which had it been done by someone other than a civil servant and the workshop not very complex should have taken about a tenth that time.
     
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  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Amen, wise decision brother.
     
  15. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not small, but not complex at all. Concrete slab, 4 walls, a roof, garage doors, open studs and trusses, lights and outlets, badabing, badaboom.
     

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  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Did you do the work?

    Nice job to the builder, neat, tidy, functional.
     
  17. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Slab and framing by builder.
    Roof by a roofer I have used for decades.
    Garage doors by my friend who owns a garage door company. Healthy discount.
    Paint by a neighborhood painting contractor.
    Interior electric by me (subpanel, wiring, lights, outlets). Hookup to main house panel by electrician (precision conduit bending beyond my skills).

    This is my 4th garage/workshop in my life time. When I was young I did all the framing. Not up to that anymore. ;)
     
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  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    On some parts of this planet, that building would be considered a mansion.
    What appeals to me MOST is that its the right size, and addresses security in a subtle way.
    I've never been a fan of windows.
    I often tell my wife that windows are one of the dumbest ideas ever, as regards protection of one's valuables and safety.
    She vehemently disagrees.
    At that point, life has conditioned me to simply shut up and listen.
    Kudos.
     
  19. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Nice shop. I'm jealous.
     
  20. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Thanks. You might like the inhabitants.

    2020-04-02 Mustang and Viper - Small.jpg
     
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