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My HOA states that all exterior modifications/alterations…

Customer Question
My HOA states that...

My HOA states that all exterior modifications/alterations will be reviewed by the Architectural Control Committee and they have up to 45 days from the date of a correctly completed application to take action on the request or it is deemed “disapproved”. Surely by outlining a timeframe, we need to respond either way and if they don’t respond, then can it really be deemed “disapproved”? This wording leaves the homeowner hanging. Is there any case law that deals with this area?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No. This is a general question.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

How much does this cost me to have question(s) answered? I just need to know if the HOA sets a time period, can they really deem any non-response application as “disapproved”, and of so, what case law supports/unsupported this?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/25/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,388
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. Additionally, most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience. Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be much, if any, case law that directly addresses this matter. A court would likely allow the typical common law understanding of contract law to determine. If the bylaws allow a request to be considered disapproved if they don’t make a decision, then it will generally be allowed. However, that doesn’t mean that if the Committee decides to just wilfully decide not to make a decision, then it may provide some legal liability. If they don’t make a decision, then this appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing. Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward the other can result in a breach of contract. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If you send this letter and they do not respond, then you may want to consider bringing a lawsuit after that because it will be clear they will not be willing to settle the issue. Don’t worry about trying to use case law at this point because neither you nor the HOA would be a decision maker. It would only be a judge or jury that could ultimately make the decision for you.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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