K.B. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
What is the number of lawsuits filed against HOAs and condominium associations?
Mister Condo replies:
K.B., I am not sure that there is a place to get that exact information, whether it is for our state or for the entire country. That is because not all lawsuits make it to trial; many are settled beforehand. It is also a difficult subject to quantify because there are far more cases of HOAs or condominium association suing individual unit owners, usually for non-payment of common fees or assessments. Suffice it to say, the courts see more than their fair share of condominium and HOA related lawsuits every year. I am guessing that your question has a little more to do with governance issues where an individual or group of individual unit owners brings a suit against the Board of Directors for questionable or illegal activities. I have not seen specific numbers but I know there are quite a few but not so many as to make the news on a regular basis. They usually happen when there is a significant disagreement in costs (insurance claims, for instance) where a unit owner is on the short end of an unexpected expense. True lawsuits of abuse against the unit owners by a tyrannical Board of Directors are rare and the typical remedy is to simply vote the offensive Board members out of office and replace them with volunteer leaders who will do a better job. The other lawsuit which is not uncommon is when the newly formed association finds itself at odds with the developer of the new condominium. It is not uncommon for construction defects and missed deadlines to occur which result in lawsuits. I hope you do not find yourself involved in a condominium association or HOA lawsuit but if you do, you will find a list of expert attorneys who specialize in community association law at http://www.caict.org/?page=Directory#Attorneys – Individual. All the best!