Who Hires an HOA Attorney and How to Choose One

Running an HOA can be challenging. HOA management boards need to navigate complicated state laws and local ordinances. Compliance failure can result in unnecessary lawsuits.

An HOA attorney can help your association avoid legal issues. A professional is well versed in the laws that can impact an HOA. They help their clients with documentation, counsel board members on a wide variety of property rights, and ensure proper enforcement of HOA rules.

Here are some reasons to hire an HOA attorney in Sonoma County.

Possess Specialized Knowledge

In most cases, HOA board members do not have legal expertise. They have limited understanding of HOA laws and may experience difficulties navigating the intricacies and difficulties of bylaws, covenants, conditions, restrictions, and other community rules.

An HOA lawyer brings specialized expertise and knowledge to the table. They advise HOA board members on the best practices, helping them steer clear of liabilities.

Help Prepare Governing Documents

Governing documents help establish the association’s governing structure and bylaws. These documents must be compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. HOA attorneys ensure governing documents are prepared and maintained in the prescribed manner.

Offer Legal Protection

If a homeowner brings a lawsuit against their HOA, the board members can hire an attorney to represent them.

Litigation is expensive and the cases can drag on for months or even years. A reputable attorney has their clients’ best interests at heart. They try to keep disputes out of court and bring the parties involved to the negotiation table so they can resolve differences through mediation. If despite their best efforts, negotiations fail and the case reaches court, they represent their client.

Tips to Choose an HOA Attorney

  • Understand the needs of your association: Before you start looking for an attorney, take the time to understand the needs of your association. For example, if you have a small association and legal issues rarely crop up, you will want to hire a local lawyer. Big associations face more complex compliance issues and should join hands with a law firm that maintains a team of seasoned HOA attorneys
  • Do not exceed your budget: When selecting an attorney, consider your budget. Find out if the attorney you are considering charges by the hour or an upfront fee. Ask the professional to provide a breakdown of their fee. If you have any questions about a particular cost element, do not hesitate to call them up
  • Interview attorneys: Once you have narrowed down the list of promising attorneys, call them to schedule an appointment. During the meeting with an attorney, discuss your association’s specific needs and the biggest issues the body faces and see if they can come up with an effective solution

Whether you want to improve tax compliance or need help navigating contracts, Johnston & Associates Law can provide the quality legal service you’re looking for. We help our clients mitigate legal risks. To talk to a legal expert, call (707) 545-6542.