Legal Representation For Property Owners’ Associations (POAs) In Texas
This article will help you understand:
- Why it’s important for a property owners’ association to have legal representation.
- Whether a lawyer who is a member of the board can represent the POA.
- The costs associated with hiring a lawyer for your property owners’ association.
What Is Your Firm’s Experience Representing HOAs In Texas?
At Sheehan Law, we have created HOAs, represented HOAs, and represented homeowners against HOAs when they’ve made mistakes. We have a great deal of experience dealing with homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and property owners’ associations (POAs), as well as condominium associations.
These are governed by different laws. We have experience representing all different types of property owners’ associations.
Does A POA Or HOA In Texas Need Legal Representation?
The term POA, which stands for Property Owners’ Association, includes both the condos and the houses. Because these associations are usually made up primarily of volunteers, it is important for them to have legal representation.
As volunteers, they often don’t have the ability or the interest to keep up with the laws that regulate the board’s responsibilities. Relying just on the management team is very often not enough.
Legal representation can give you someone on your side that will help you adhere to the law and stay in compliance with legal requirements. An attorney can also answer those tough questions to make sure your POA doesn’t end up on the news when fighting with a homeowner.
What Types Of Legal Issues Might A POA In Texas Face?
There are a lot of potential legal issues a POA might face. First of all, it’s essential to ensure you are in compliance with the many technical requirements, such as filing the real property records. Not having the correct items filed can cause a lawsuit. There is also the big issue of getting your homeowners to comply with the restrictions or dealing with assessments.
Plus, there are tough decisions that have to be made, and people’s emotions can get in the way. People feel they should be able to do what they want with their own property, and this can cause a lot of problems.
For instance, an architectural control committee could issue a ruling with which the homeowner disagrees. They may deny a permit for something, or they approve a permit with which another homeowner disagrees.
Additionally, it is crucial to make sure that you are banking enough money as a property owners’ association. This is necessary to be able to pay for future repairs for common areas without having to collect so much that it is a burden on your homeowners.
Another problem is when the homeowners do not pay their assessments. Property owners’ associations are one of the few entities that can foreclose on a homestead for failure to pay assessments. However, as the property owners’ association board, you should keep in mind that these are also your neighbors. How do you want to deal with these difficult decisions and tough situations?
Can A POA In Texas Use A Lawyer Who Is Also A Member Of The Board?
Whether a POA in Texas can hire a lawyer who is also a member of the board depends on how the bylaws are written. Sometimes they can, but the question is whether they should.
Having an attorney is having an independent third party who can give their opinion. The attorney is supposed to be able to give impartial advice, without the emotional connection that can prevent them from seeing things clearly.
Having a member of the board act as your attorney can lead to a conflict. It may bring up questions such as, “Are they doing what’s best from a legal perspective for the board? Or are they seeing things just as a homeowner in the association?”
How Can A POA In Texas Find A Qualified Attorney For Legal Representation?
When hiring an attorney for your POA, it is important to interview the attorney and ensure they have enough experience dealing with the property code as it applies to property owners’ associations. They should also have experience with both representing and defending property owners’ associations.
Trying to figure out the laws associated with a POA or HOA can be stressful and confusing. The best course of action for a POA is to hire an experienced real estate attorney who can provide proper support and legal guidance.
What Are The Costs Associated With Legal Representation For A POA In Texas, And Who Pays For This?
Different attorneys charge different rates. They may charge a flat rate for routine tasks, or an hourly rate for something litigation-related. Examples of routine tasks might include drafting letters to individuals who were late on their assessments or have violated a restriction.
Generally, the board pays for the legal representation of the POA. Cost issues can arise when a lawsuit occurs, such as if the board enters into large-scale litigation. Often, the board will then have to do a special assessment, which is where every homeowner has to pay a part of the litigation fee.
If the litigation is with one of the homeowners, that homeowner has to pay their own legal fees as well as their portion of the fees that are collected by the property owners’ association.
For more information on Legal Representation For HOA/POAs In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 355-0155 today.