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A homeowner vs HOA. My HOA sent me a letter using a

A homeowner vs HOA. My HOA...
A homeowner vs HOA.
My HOA sent me a letter using a 'hear-say' to accuse "someone in my unit" of HOA rule violation.
I prepared a letter of one page asking the HOA not to use 'hear-say' and not to use 'someone in your household' as this violates the very founding laws and rights I have as a citizen.
I need a lawyer to read the letter and advise me on what I need to improve to follow the law and get my point across.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/31/2017
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,612
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Feel free to upload your letter.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi TJ,
Thank you.
FYI, the HOA letter to me states "It has been reported by a homeowner that someone from your unit has been seen placing cat food out in the common area to feed stray cats". The letter I wrote is in response to this line.

Hi again.

Unfortunately, there is a problem with your analysis in the letter. You state that the manager is not acting in a lawful manner for relying on hearsay, and for not assuming innocence until guilt of proved. I'm sorry to say that the manager is not acting in an unlawful manner.

First, hearsay is defined as an out of court statement used to prove the truth of the matter asserted, and is only relevant in court proceedings. The management of the HOA is not restricted to the confines of a courtroom, and there is no requirement to ignore hearsay.

Second, the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty is only relevant in criminal proceedings. Like hearsay above, it is irrelevant to the management of the HOA, and there is no requirement to adhere to that maxim.

Simply put, the HOA has the right to take a complaint from a homeowner, and send out a letter in response. It does not need to inform you of who complained, nor is it required to prove your guilt before sending the letter. Having said that, if the HOA fines you, and then you have the right to sue the HOA. If that happens, then the HOA must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you violated the bylaws, and that would require evidence. At that time, hearsay would become relevant, and you could require the testimony of the homeowner who complained. But until and unless such a court proceeding takes place, neither hearsay nor innocent until proven guilty are relevant to the HOA.

Accordingly, if I were in your shoes, I would approach the letter differently. I would instead dispute the allegation if you are indeed innocent, and point out that in the absence of corroborating evidence, there is no reason to believe the complaining homeowner over you. Depending on the tone of the letter that was sent to you, I may also express my irritation that the letter presumes guilt rather than requests a response to the allegation.

Does that answer your question(s)? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,612
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified
TJ, Esq. and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you TJ.
This is exactly what I wanted, the truth.
I am so glad with your complete and brilliant answer.
This is the end of my inquiry in this matter.I would like to ask you to handle a law suit I intent to file against the HOA on another matter. This will happen in February. If interested, how would I contact you?

Hi again.

Unfortunately, the terms of service of this website preclude us from entering into an attorney-client relationship. However, you can find a competent attorney by contacting your state bar and asking for a referral to a real estate attorney who handles HOA disputes. The bar should be able to put you in touch with several attorneys.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you TJ

You're quite welcome. :)

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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