Every real estate dispute has the potential to be costly to resolve, whether there is commercial or residential property involved. However, money isn't always the most important part of the problem, or the solution.
In some cases, protecting your rights as a property owner is the top priority. This point can be illustrated by one recent case involving a homeowner, a homeowners' association and a mailbox.
The dispute began when a homeowner purchased a new mailbox. Months after this seemingly harmless purchase, the homeowner learned his HOA was mandating that everyone in the association purchase and install a specific $500 mailbox within a few years.
The issue was not the $500; the issue was that the HOA was requiring everyone to purchase a new mailbox, even though the members were not given the opportunity to weigh in on the decision.
The HOA attempted to squash the dispute by offering to pay for the homeowner's mailbox, but he continued to fight back for seven years, arguing that the HOA simply did not have (and should not be allowed to have) the power and authority it was attempting to exert.
Eventually, the case was resolved when a judge sided with the homeowner and ordered that the HOA rules regarding the mailboxes be removed. In future situations, it was recommended that the HOA secure a vote from the community and adopt more reasonable guidelines to make the required changes to avoid similar debates.
This case highlights the fact that there can be a lot more on the line than money when it comes to real estate disputes. In order to protect everything that property owners have at stake in these battles, it can be important to consult an attorney and assess the legal options available to seek the desired result.