Filing complaints against an HOA or one of its vendors
Merced County Courthouse Cupola (1875)
Depending on the nature of the issue, homeowners can file complaints again their association or one of its vendors with city or county government, with state or federal agencies, or with a trade association like the Better Business Bureau. Filing a complaint means you are asking a government entity or trade association to help you resolve the complaint.
Filing a complaint is not the same as going to court, but you will have to have your facts assembled as though you were going to court: you will have to assemble the names of parties involved, dates of events, documents sent and received by you; personal notes and emails; statements by witnesses; and any relevant association documents.
Having your facts assembled before you file a complaint enables the agency to deal with it more quickly, though keep in mind that the agencies listed below receive hundreds of complaints a week. [If you decide to file in small claims court, click on the Small Claims Court link on CCHAL's Home page.]
It is essential that, when you file a complaint with a local, state or federal agency that you ALSO
Complaints from the homeowner-consumer fall into two broad categories:
1. Complaints arising during the time that the developer controls the association or that he is transferring control of the association to homeowners who have putchased homes in the subdivision (or condominium.) This is often the time that homeowners:
2. Complaints arising over governance issues after homeowners assume control of the association. Complaints include:
[For a broad description of these two categories of complaints, see "Common Interest Developments: Housing at Risk?" California Research Bureau, August 2002, available online at http://www.library.ca.gov/crb/02/12/02-012.pdf. There are gaps and inconsistencies in this report, but it does still contain some useful data and observations about governance.]
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