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We own a townhome and the association/management company…

Customer Question
We own a townhome...

We own a townhome and the association/management company fined us $10 a day for a parking sticker they decided to put in place last year. We were unaware we needed to pick it up from the management office so they fined us over $600 for not picking it up. I looked on the association website and there were not minutes posted from any of the meetings or any information on the parking sticker/fees. They sent us a letter from a lawfirm and are demanding payment by June 21.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

I haven't filed anything. I reached the association and the lawfirm. The association can't talk to us and referred us to the lawfirm. The lawfirm is demanding the payment in full.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the townhome located?

Bridgeview IL we have lived there for 13 years and never needed a parking sticker

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

The last minutes from the association meetings available on the website are from over 2 years ago and we have not been given a new set of bylaws or information requiring the parking stickers. I would rather pay a lawyer to fight them than pay them the $680 they charged us in parking

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/29/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,125
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. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, 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.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It is possible that you would be able to get out of this, but it'll require understanding the law and some actions you can take.

A homeowners association, through its board of directors, has a duty to enforce its governing documents. An HOA has a duty to enforce the governing documents in good faith and not in an arbitrary or capricious manner through procedures which are fair and uniformly applied. Courts have determined that there is a presumption of reasonableness and it requires that recorded covenants and restrictions be enforced unless they are wholly arbitrary, violate a fundamental public policy, or impose a burden on the use of affected land that far outweighs any benefit. The failure of the HOA to act fairly in the enforcement of the CC&Rs could be a violation of the law or at least a breach of contract. 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. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can just purchase, download, and go. Click here to get started.

Because I value your input, I would like to know whether you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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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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