Columbia, MD asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: Can I sue my HOA for never cutting grass on time from the company they hire to do it?

I have had to lodge complaints at least four times regarding the failure to cut the grass in accordance with the HOA Agreement. On occasions where management has reportedly contacted the landscaping company, the grass was cut, but the problem persists with each subsequent service. As of today, areas surrounding my property have been appropriately serviced, yet my own backyard remains neglected, despite it being covered by the HOA Agreement. Given the frequency of these complaints, do I have a possible legal case against either the landscaping company or the HOA which has contracts with the landscape company?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: In most jurisdictions, the law and the courts treat HOAs as local democracies. If they violate their "constitutions," i.e., the Declarations and, to some extent, other adopted "laws," you might get a court not to grant a motion to dismiss. For the most part, your remedy is to convince other homeowners that this board is not effective and you and your nominees should run the board, discharge the hired management, and fire the lawn maintenance crew. As in all campaigns, legal advice is useful, particularly in planning the hostile takeover. But, your legal budget is better spent on a review of the Declarations and Bylaws to construct a campaign than in a lawsuit to sue someone who has no contractual duties to you, personally.

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