Legal trouble and litigation are not common occurrences in regard to condominiums and homeowners’ associations, but there is a labyrinth of community association rules that must be navigated in order to best serve the ownership. In these groups, there are a few legal professionals to demystify the issues, and therefore ensure that the associations’ business runs undisturbed. Choosing a legal pro is, therefore, a critical matter that the association must take seriously.
Here are some things to look for when choosing a legal expert for your homeowner’s association.
The first thing in getting an association attorney is knowing where to look, and the kind of person to vet. With the help of the internet, it is easier to find a competent lawyer more than ever before. Attorneys, like doctors, have specialties, and you need to get the right practitioner. There are a lot of materials regarding these legal specialists that you can go through to find the right person. Property managers can also give you referrals for good lawyers. When finding a competent lawyer, word of mouth is a great and trustworthy referral. You must talk to different people in the industry. Different trade organizations can also tell you where you can find a quality lawyer. Once you have compiled a list of these lawyers, you can zero into other qualities that would give you the most beneficial legal practitioner. Apart from being an expert in condominium law, you must look for someone who is ready and willing to put his or her time and effort necessary for a rewarding relationship. For any community association lawyer that is worth their salt, the relationship with the association should be the single most important element.
Give the Association Board of Trustees’ Good Exposure
Legal experts, especially association attorneys, organize for trade shows and condominium expos throughout the year. Here, people can ask direct questions to the legal team. An association board can take advantage of the training and expos and ask direct questions to the attorneys. Thus, the trustees in the board become better equipped in choosing the best attorney for their association.
Look Out for Danger Signs
By interacting with a legal professional and asking a few questions, you will know whether the person is a perfect fit. By interacting with them, you may notice some danger signs, like lack of transparency in the way they execute matters or something that may lead to conflict with the board members or managers of the property. Ask questions around payment, their fees, whether they charge a flat fee or a retainer. You will want to avoid the ‘one-man show’ lawyer who professes an ability to handle any case singlehandedly. Get their education background and confirm their expertise in the field of condominium and association law. With a little digging, you can get a qualified association attorney view source that works for your situation.
It is important to understand the payment terms before you get into an agreement with a lawyer. When should they be paid? Are they paid on an hourly or case-by-case? The attorney should be candid on whether there are penalties to late payments. Do not get into an engagement that will lead to punitive surprises in the end.
Getting an attorney for your association is not a one-day issue. You’ll need to dig deeper, do your research, and consult to get someone who will perfectly handle your issues and advise you where necessary.