Dysfunction in Self Government: Problems With Homeowners Associations

Recently, our country has witnessed persistent dysfunction in the way our federal government operates. In some ways, disputes at that level are mirrored by the manner in which people in homeowners’ association engage in arguments: they are often hotbeds for fights at the micro level and constantly reinforce the old adage “politics is all local.”

While many disputes that occur within these associations provide for interesting anecdotes, many of the 57 million homeowners belonging to such groups do not find them so amusing. Many find the level of regulations to be examples of excessive over-regulation. Consider this list of items that are commonly regulated by these associations:

  • Fences and hedges: height and appearance
  • Trees, lawns and weeds: limits on size
  • Shingles and exterior paint color
  • Garages and sheds: color and size
  • Garbage cans: leaving them out too long
  • Pools: a fervent source of dispute
  • Mailboxes and garbage cans: size, color and types
  • Pets: size, type and breeds not to mention leash rules

This list provides just a sample of areas in which disputes arise. Besides the element of micromanagement which these regulations exhibit, the personal “close to home” aspect of these disputes can exacerbate issues. 

If you are considering buying a home that is part of a homeowner’s association or are already in such an association, you may need legal advice on how to navigate difficulties with your neighbors. Contact Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at giddenslaw.com. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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