• Talk to a lawyer
  • Pay your assessments
  • Read your CC&Rs and other governing documents carefully
  • Consult with a lawyer before making any architectural or design changes
  • Regularly inspect the HOA’s books and records
  • Run for a seat on the Board of Directors
  • Attend and participate at all board meetings
  • Ask questions.
  • Request a hearing for any alleged violations
  • Meet with a lawyer (yes, it is that important)
  • Know your rights


  • Don’t refuse or withhold payment of assessments
  • Don’t pay fines or penalties without first speaking with a lawyer
  • But don’t ignore violation letters
  • Don't ignore a lawsuit; never ignore a lawsuit 


  • Never agree to a payment plan that is not in writing.
  • Never agree to a payment plan that does not tell you to the penny how much you will pay (and make sure you consult a lawyer first)
  • Never trust them when they tell you not to worry about answering the lawsuit
  • Never ignore a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit