HOAs Must Strictly Adhere to Arbitration Provisions in their Governing Documents

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A HOA’s failure to comply with its own arbitration provisions nullified its request to compel binding arbitration…

Many disputes arise between Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and homeowners that implicate a HOA’s arbitration and enforcement provisions contained in its governing documents. In Mansouri v. Superior Court of Placer County, 181 Cal.App.4th 633 (2010) (Mansouri), a HOA sought to compel binding arbitration against a homeowner who had not secured architectural approval prior to enclosing her patio. The HOA’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) contained a provision that required disputes to be arbitrated by a three party panel. The HOA had offered single party arbitration with the homeowner but failed to offer, or request, a three party panel pursuant to the CC&Rs. On appeal, the court in Mansouri held that the HOA’s failure to request arbitration pursuant to the CC&Rs nullified its petition.

hoa laws HOAs and Boards of Directors must strictly adhere to the requirements and guidelines in their governing documents–especially in instances of dispute resolution and enforcement procedures. The procedures through which a HOA must first try to resolve its disputes, and the HOA’s efforts to comply with those procedures, are paramount to ensuring a beneficial outcome for the HOA.

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