When you purchase a condo in Houston, you will probably have to agree to the rules and regulations of the condo association. It is not uncommon to eventually find yourself at odds with the association. For instance, you may have heard horror stories from other condo owners or homeowners about dealing with unreasonable board members or rules that seem outrageous.
While fighting with a condo association can often be difficult, it is possible to win. Here are a few tips to follow in case you ever find yourself at odds with your condo association.
Know the regulations
Before you ever close on the purchase of your condo, you should know the rules and regulations the condo association imposes on the owners and residents. In case you every receive a notice that you are in violation of the rules, knowing them from the outset will help you in case the notice refers to a rule that is not in the governing documents. If you are unfamiliar with the rule you are supposedly violating, you can ask the condo association for written clarification. Next, you can request a hearing or take the next step in the conflict resolution procedures that should be specified in the condo association rules and regulations.
While dealing with a condo association can often seem like an exercise in futility, it is important to keep your cool. The members in the association, including the board, are probably your neighbors and are more than likely volunteering their time. If you take a calm, pleasant and even friendly approach when trying to resolve a disagreement with the association, you have a better chance of them seeing things your way.
Put it in writing
In case the dispute escalates and you need to go to court, you will want a paper trail to present as evidence. In other words, document the date, time and subject of each encounter you have with the association that relates to the dispute. If you can keep the majority of communication in writing, such as through email, it could keep you from going to court to argue a “he said/she said” situation.
Keep paying your dues
No matter how far your relationship with the condo board deteriorates, stay up to date with your dues. If you fall behind on the dues you could find yourself fighting a much bigger battle against the condo association. You can always ask for a refund if the association has overcharged you or levied fines for a rule violation that causes a dispute.
If you are involved in a condo association dispute, keep in mind that you still have rights and options. If you cannot come to a resolution, you may need to take the problem before a judge and let the court settle the disagreement.