What is my recourse against the HOA or homeowner that does not repair a home in our community?

There is a townhome on my street that is falling apart on the outside – this has been going on for years. The homeowner’s association says they have fined her and reported her for violations, however they are doing nothing to remedy the situation. It is not only an eyesore but brings down the value of other homes on the street. Is there any legal recourse I can take against the homeowner or association for not doing anything about this?

Asked on June 22, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The HOA's only power is to fine homeowners who violate association or community rules, so they are not liable for anything--they are doing what they can.
One homeowner cannot force another homeowner to keep up her home, even if it is bringing down property values: the law allows a person to do, or not do (i.e. no upkeep or maintenance) anything they want on or to their property which is not inherently illegal, and there is nothing illegal about not keeping up your property. Many people do not: the law allows them to make this choice.
If she is violating any municipal health, zoning, or building ordinances, you could report her to the appropriate agency or department, which may also fine her or take action--but that is all you can do.


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