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Can I sue my HOA in Small Claims Court?

Los Angeles, CA |

My HOA refuses to send me notice of Community meetings. I made a request to send me notices of mail and they refuse. Now they want me to pay assessments on issues where I was not notified and had no vote. Can I sue them in Small Claims court? Also, their sprinklers damaged my car on a city street. Can I also raise that in Small Claims Court?

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Attorney answers 1


Yes for the assessments. Yes for the car damage.

Pursuant to California Civil Code §1365.1, homeowners have the right to dispute assessments which may have been incorrectly levied or where payments may not have been credited. The homeowners association (HOA) must annually, before the beginning of each fiscal year, give owners notice of this disputed charge procedure.

Homeowners may dispute any assessment by submitting a written request for dispute resolution to the association (Civil Code § 1365.1(b)) in accordance with the HOA's internal dispute resolution procedures, or filing an action in small claims court for any amount up to $7,500 ($5,000 if the owner is a corporation). (Civil Code § 1367.6.)

If the parties elect Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the parties must complete ADR within 90 days after the party initiating the request receives the acceptance, unless this period is extended by written stipulation signed by both parties. (Civil Code § 1369.540.)

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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