When HOA Disputes Turn Violent
Violence is never the answer. Tell that to angry homeowners who have been fined by homeowners associations (HOAs) for what the homeowners contend to be silly reasons, such as painting their house the wrong color or decorating their yard with political flags.
Living in an HOA is not easy and there can be a lot of tension involved. Many people feel as though they have minimal freedoms even though they own their homes. In a poorly run HOA, the behavior of HOA presidents can range from corruption to fraud to assault to even murder.
Sometimes HOA boards take things too far. They often fine homeowners and increase the fine amount even though the underlying basis for the fine is illegitimate. They may even get mad over something trivial such as keeping a door closed. This happened in Stuart in 2022 when a 75-year-old man shot and killed his HOA president and her husband. They were arguing over the man’s failure to keep the laundry room door closed.
In 2020, the manager of a Boca Raton condominium, who was angry with an 80-year-old homeowner, pushed the woman into a chair, twisted her arm, and broke two of her fingers. In 2014, an emergency room doctor living in a community in Boca Raton attacked a security guard who was giving him a citation for working outside his home.
In Florida, HOAs tend to rule. Homeowners can be forced to pay for years of litigation to exercise their rights. Legal issues often require arbitration, and to get a favorable ruling, they must deal with costly trials de novo or appeals.
HOAs are hard to escape in Florida. Close to half of all residents in the Sunshine State live in an HOA or similar association.
When people buy a home or condo in an HOA, they don’t always know what they’re getting into as the governing documents are often full of detailed legalese and the applicable law is complex. Homeowners are often forced to waive many of the rights and liberties they’ve come to expect. They have to accept all the contractual obligations that come with that home, and that includes numerous limitations and restrictions.
Some homeowners live in an environment fueled by disinformation, unfounded accusations, and conspiracy theories. Social media apps such as Facebook and Nextdoor make matters worse by creating conflict. Some people do this to get on the HOA board, while others are upset by something and make up scandals.
Sometimes homeowners get upset over something and they direct their anger toward the HOA. They may start writing nasty emails complete with threats of violence.
Contact an HOA Lawyer Today
HOAs are put in place to maintain uniformity and harmony. Nobody should be assaulted by an angry homeowner or director.
A Bradenton homeowners association dispute lawyer from Cahall Law Firm can help maintain the peace in your community. We can help resolve your dispute and inform you of your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call (941) 281-2019 or fill out the online form.