Can you Sue your Homeowners Association?

Can you sue your homeowners association? The damage needs to be great enough to want to spend the money hiring an attorney.

By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Q: Can a unit owner sue their homeowners’ association for their failure to comply with the association’s bylaws and rules? Which governmental entity or agency oversees homeowners association?

Homeowner Association Governs the Owners

A: Let’s answer your second question first: We’re not aware of any specific state-by-state agency that oversees homeowner associations. Homeowner associations, like other groups, organizations, and clubs, are private arrangements between people. In your situation, the homeowner association governs the owners within the association. 

The association has its own governing document and rules. The arrangement is a private matter between the homeowners. And some disputes are handled within the association. When it comes to problems between one or more homeowners against the people that run the association. The owners’ remedy is usually to vote those members out of office.  

A condominium or homeowner association’s governing documents provide for the method of electing the officers or people that will manage the association. You can look at those documents and find fellow homeowners who share your feelings. You can vote in other people to run the association. 

Association has Failed to comply with the By-Laws

By the way, when you say the association has failed to comply with the by-laws and rules. The breach you reference has to be quite egregious for a court to want to get involved. And, the damage to you needs to be great enough for you to want to spend the money hiring an attorney to sue the association.

If you were to sue the association. We suspect a court will give quite a bit of leeway to the association about how it decides to run the association. The board of the association is voted in by the members. Those members entrust the board to run the association. Although the courts don’t usually like to get involved in these disputes. Unless there is a clear violation of some law or the homeowner has a specific wrong that can be addressed by a court.

We are not saying that you can’t sue the association. But you might want to think long and hard before you go that route. You may even want to consult with a litigation lawyer that has handled these types of cases.

Good luck.

©2022 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin.