Removing your lot from the legal purview of a home owners association (HOA) can be complicated and requires considering the motivations of the other members of the association. Your HOA may receive its primary source of income based on the number of properties existing within the jurisdiction of the association. The loss of your property could incentivize a migration of other properties and risk creating a revenue deficit in the HOA treasury. Thus, your proposal for removal must be carefully couched and presented through a strategy of building relationships and acting in a measured manner with a strong understanding of the guidelines governing the deannexation process.
How to Remove a Lot From an HOA
Obtain a copy of the HOA covenants (sometimes called the articles of incorporation). This is the legal document that governs the actions of the HOA. Secure a copy from the secretary of the HOA board. If you do not wish to tip off the HOA officers as to your interest in the covenants, then you can request the document from the county clerk of the county wherein you reside.
Review the deannexation provisions of the covenants. This section of the covenants will determine the exact requirements that must be met in order to have your property deannexed from the HOA.
Build support for your plan with the other members of the HOA, directors of the HOA board and the developer of your addition. The covenants may require the approval of one or all of these groups. Be prepared to explain to these individuals how the deannexation of your property is important and how it will be of mutual benefit to the membership. Carefully plan out how to answer possible objections from those who are worried about the future use of your property and the effect on their property should the property be deannexed.
Explore additional options. Should your request for deannexation be denied by the HOA, then it may be necessary to seek a remedy from your local state court system. For instance, if your HOA is not providing the level of service that it should be providing, you can ask the court to remove your property from the HOA based on the fact that the HOA is not living up to its obligations under the covenants. The court may also determine that your property should have never been placed in the HOA due to your property possessing characteristics that distinguish it from the other properties in the HOA.
- Consider using the services of a mediator to help solve your differences with the HOA. Your state may have laws that incentivize this process. As an example, Maryland HOA members are allowed to use a state-sponsored mediation process, resulting in a low cost to homeowners, and the mediator is not allowed to testify in any ensuing court action.
- Study the covenants for an applicable membership renewal date. The HOA covenants may expire at a set period of time and only continue based on your desire to renew them. It may be easier to simply wait for the renewal date instead of attempting to be deannexed.
- house image by Cora Reed from Fotolia.com