Protecting Your Biz: How do community associations legally cover themselves?
Why investing in the legal side of your community association early on is a sound practice.
Don’t wait until you’re faced with a legal crisis.
Community Associations, just like businesses, need to ensure that they are legally protected at all times. They are responsible for governing the community, ensuring that owners and/or tenants follow the rules and the covenants, conditions and restrictions that are set forth in their bylaws. And as a legal entity, it is highly advisable that the board has an attorney on board to serve as an advisor and act on behalf of the association when needed. Let’s take a look at the reasons why your board needs to retain an attorney:
Performing regular legal audits
In the same way that your board conducts a financial audit each year before filing taxes, performing a legal audit allows you to spot any potential issues ahead of time and ensures that you’re operating within the law. Having an attorney allows you to be proactive, which can alleviate the need for legal action in many cases when there’s a dispute.
It is never pleasant for an HOA to have to take legal action against a homeowner or a vendor, but there are cases when it’s necessary. Before things come to the point where litigation is required, your attorney can handle communicating with the resident(s) and work to enforce the rules or settle the dispute. This includes acting on your behalf in a mediation or arbitration.
Routine legal matters
Having legal representation for your board enables you to take advantage of the many specialized services that a community association attorney provides. These include handling the proper notice of covenant enforcement and board, budget, special assessment, and resident meetings.
A community association attorney can assist your board with the collection of past due fees, alleviating you of this sometimes uncomfortable task. Attorneys can also handle official notifications to residents who are behind in their assessments and follow through on collection if necessary.
Protecting your board’s interest
Not many HOAs are proactive about legal protection. Often, boards rush to find guidance and representation from an attorney only after they encounter an issue. But associations that have counsel on retainer reap the benefits of consistent support and the ability to head-off situations that may otherwise have ended up in costly lawsuits. Today, many associations take advantage of the flat fee retainer program that is offered by attorneys. This program enables them to have a specialized community association lawyer to turn to at any time — and immediately when an issue arises — for a flat monthly fee.
Protecting your board is just as important as protecting your business. Having an attorney as one of your trusted advisors not only gives your HOA peace of mind, it also gives you access to the legal guidance and support you need throughout the year.
For specialized legal assistance, call PeytonBolin at (877) 739-8662 or contact us through our online form to learn about our flat fee retainer program and the many services we provide. Our firm is dedicated to all legal matters that affect your board and we have extensive experience in community association law.