Communities such as HOAs are required to stay on top of a lot of different elements and much of that responsibility falls with the board members. After all, the idea of these kinds of real estate arrangements is to ensure that property owners can enjoy a high standard of living.

This may mean dispute resolution, ensuring HOA bylaws are current, putting the required pieces in place for audits, or even taking care of HOA board member certification for HOA, condo, co-op, etc.

It stands to reason then that litigation counsel will be needed at some point. Today, we'll dive into some of the specifics to talk about why you may need HOA attorneys, and you'll even get some recommendations in Florida!

Legalities Surrounding the Powers of Homeowners Associations

This is a good place to start. While the Florida statutes grant powers to the HOA, the organizations do not have power in every context. Chapter 720 of the said statutes speaks to the governance of HOAs, and it requires that clarification be given by HOAs on the powers and how management works through their governing documents.

Already, you can see that this is a bit confusing and can leave you wondering what the limits are. Enforcement is one of the big ones. Take homeowner association fees, for example, which are essential to the smooth running of the system.

While a collections policy will be outlined, what the HOA can do to enforce it is limited. Therefore, a litigation team would likely be called in to pursue the full course of measures.

Rules of Community Associations Should Never Break the Law

Even the freedom given in drafting these governing documents is something that is best done with an HOA lawyer providing oversight. Why is that? Well, there is a list of prohibited rules, which are meant to protect several interests.

A key one is discriminatory rules. This comes from the fact that characteristics such as gender, race, family status, etc fall under a protected group based on state and federal laws. Therefore, HOAs are prohibited from making decisions that show a sense of discrimination based on these factors.

Note that this principle also extends to the discriminatory application of rules. What's the difference? Well, what we spoke about just now was the rule itself being discriminatory. For example, a rule deciding that African Americans must pay higher dues is one such principle.

While rules may not be like this, HOAs also have to be careful about how they apply them. Therefore, while a regulation may be acceptable by default, there is a concern about discriminatory conduct if the said rule should be applied to only people who match certain protected characteristics.

Other prohibited rule types include:

  1. Rules violating the 1996 Telecommunications Act
  2. Rules violating fair housing laws
  3. Rules preventing the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act
  4. Rules facilitating or promoting fraud
  5. Rules violating homeowners' right to free speech

Qualities to Look for in a Florida HOA Attorney or Law Firm

These kinds of real estate attorneys will be representing you and getting involved in quite a number of your affairs. It helps to ensure that they meet a few requirements.

Advocacy for HOAs

This is not even a tip that only goes for HOAs. If you're going to be seeking a lawyer for any reason, it helps to get one who is dedicated to your interests and your cause. Think about it. Would you want someone who doesn't believe in your vision representing you?

You can usually achieve this if you manage to find a firm that exclusively handles things on the HOA side as we'll cover below.

HOA Exclusivity

If you look for attorneys and law firms in Florida, your search will see you stumbling on many different options that are geared towards providing support for homeowners in the dispute resolution equation.

You'll want to ensure that you find one that represents the associations themselves. There are bonus points if the firm you choose exclusively works with HOAs, condominium associations, etc.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with firms that represent either side of the fence, but it stands to reason that a single area of specialization that is dedicated to your cause will likely mean your having a much better experience with the lawyers than you probably would otherwise.


Everyone who engages a service provider will do so for access to a core offering, which is to be expected. Be that as it may, the true measure of value is the extent to which the core service and other elements come together to give a complete experience.

While add-ons are not mandatory, it's nice to see a law firm that is willing to go the extra mile for its customers. This may include visits, general recommendations, sitting in on essential meetings, etc.

A Full Suite of Services

Not all associations will need this one, but it does help to find that kind of lawyer if you can. As you'll see a bit later on, there is a laundry list of potential services you may need. Therefore, it helps to be able to identify a firm that can provide the full suite.

At the very least, ensure that whatever services you are interested in for your needs are taken care of.

Straightforward Contact Style

There are many moving parts in an HOA and the same can be said about a law firm too. Even so, it shouldn't feel like you need to navigate a maze to speak to relevant personnel. A good firm will provide you with a simple communication model, even if that means some administrative overhead needs to be handled in the background.

Why Might a Homeowners Association Need a Florida Law Firm?

As indicated before, there is a lot of responsibility that rests squarely on the shoulders of an HOA board of directors. While there are some pieces of the puzzle that an attorney is mandatory for, there are other areas in which the arrangement provides some level of ease for the directors. The following elements are a few examples:

  1. Assisting with resolving disputes using conventional approaches and providing representation in alternative ones when needed.
  2. Enforcement of property rules. This could be anywhere from policy writing to sending violations to even pursuing eviction action.
  3. Assist with the appointment of board members
  4. Assist with the drafting, review, or modification of HOA contracts and possibly other governing documents too.

Sometimes, it's not even a situation that a united board isn't able to handle. However, this is a body consisting of people with different opinions, which means that legal services may be needed to provide guidance in line with the best interests of the community.

Typical Legal Services Homeowners Associations in Florida May Find Desirable

HOA Disputes

An HOA dispute is not an uncommon occurrence. HOA and condominium owners do not always see eye to eye with the board of directors, and this can create a situation where both parties may find themselves at an impasse.

Any experienced Florida HOA attorney will have the skills and experience necessary to render the services necessary to protect the HOA based on contractual or statutory rights.

Standard Legal Counsel

Sometimes, there isn't a specific huge occurrence that comes to light for you to start scrambling for the "Contact Us" page of your preferred law firm.

Realistically, on any given day, you could unknowingly walk into a variety of legal matters and concerns during your normal daily operations.

You will want to ensure that you're working with a firm that has an offering where assistance can be rendered as needed since you will never know when these issues are going to pop up.

State and Local Law Compliance

As you gathered from much of what was said earlier, an HOA, co-op, or condominium association is by no means above the laws set within the powers of the state and local divisions. Compliance here is not optional, and meeting the mandatory requirement means having a working knowledge of the do's and don'ts such as avoiding any discriminatory conduct.

From court rulings to administrative decisions to regulations to state laws and beyond, a seasoned attorney should be able to ensure that the guidance given keeps you on the right side of the law at all times.

Compliance with Federal Laws

The state and local arms are not the only important ones in the equation. There are also federal laws that cannot be left out. This is where the fair housing, environmental, telecommunications, and other areas start to creep in.

As with the others, the aim is to ensure that the HOA is not operating in contravention of any of these policies.

Maintenance and Repair Obligations

Legally, there can be quite a bit of confusion surrounding how the maintenance element of things will work. To what extent is the homeowner responsible for this and how is the HOA meant to enforce that layer of responsibility?

What about the HOA? Does it bear a sense of responsibility to ensure that maintenance and repairs are addressed? Where do the lines meet for the two sides?

Sometimes it's simply a matter of a lack of understanding of the way repair obligations are worded in the established rules, and an attorney can be a great help with that kind of thing.


HOA dues are not optional for a reason. This is the proverbial bread and butter that the organization will need to be able to ensure that critical responsibilities are taken care of. That means there are no two ways about ensuring that the collections happen.

Recall that legally, there are limitations imposed on what the HOA can do when things get to the point of delinquency. The service rendered here can be two-fold. The first layer is to work on the practices and policies that will minimize the need for an arduous collection process.

Next, there is the matter of representing the homeowners association where necessary when there are informal or formal means that will need to be used to collect.

Development and Planning

The planning and development process is another key area in which HOAs will sometimes need assistance. There are several important steps between planning and the post-turnover stage, and these will come with their own moving parts that need to be taken care of effectively.

Your lawyer will aim to ensure that the decisions made align with the short and long-term needs of the HOA.

Hurricane Matters

Like it or not, Florida is a location susceptible to hurricanes, and even planning for that is essential. There is a preparedness and a recovery element, and your law firm of choice may be able to assist you on both sides of the fence.

Developer Challenges

If you can have a good relationship with the neighborhood developer, there is a myriad of problems that you can circumvent entirely. However, smooth sailing is not always the case, and your response to the situation will say a lot about the outcome. Thankfully, legal aid is available for these kinds of things.

Negotiation and Contract Preparation

Many different kinds of legal contracts will go into the operations and the protection of the interests of HOAs. Much of how these come into play will be determined by how effective they were to begin with.

Obviously, a plethora of legal assistance will be needed to ensure that the contracts aren't deemed unenforceable because they contradict Florida statutes. Beyond that, your attorney will want to review and make amendments to ensure that your interests are being served.


Community homeowners association insurance is not something to be taken lightly. It's essential to understand what your needs are so you take a policy that meets them most effectively. Not only can your attorney discuss this with you, but a review can also be done of the policy contract before you sign to ensure that you are well taken care of.


Not all sources of finance are built equal, and this is where another important function comes into play. Your attorney may be able to assist you in identifying reputable financing sources. This service may be extended to helping with line of credit structuring, as well as representing the association where loan negotiations and credit documents are concerned.

Governing Documents

You've heard quite a few mentions of governing documents so far, and that's for good reason considering how central they are to the smooth operations of an HOA. If you engage an experienced law firm in the HOA representation space, one thing it will have under its belt is a wealth of experience with this kind of documentation.

Therefore, you should be able to lean on your lawyer for a series of relevant functions such as the creation and enforcement of these crucial regulatory pieces.

Your Homeowners Association Could Likely Benefit from HOA Software

DoorLoop's HOA software can make the management of your HOA a lot easier. That's thanks to a full suite of functionality including:

  • Free website for your HOA per property or community with free resident login facilities.
  • Automated payment of rent, dues, fines, maintenance, etc.
  • Comprehensive accounting complete with shareable reports and Quickbooks/bank account syncing.
  • Unlimited administrative users
  • Request management (maintenance/architectural)
  • Communication variety (phone, text, email, portal messages)

HOA Law Firms You Can Consider

Here's a quick look at a few of the best HOA law firms in Florida.



Becker represents over 4,000 HOAs and works in a way to protect the interests of HOAs without preventing them from being able to perform their intended functions. This law firm has been operating for almost five decades and exclusively represents HOAs with a client-first mindset. Services include dispute resolution, financing, general legal counsel, services surrounding governing documents, etc.

Bogin, Munns & Munns

Bogin, Munns & Munns

Next is Bogin, Munns & Munns. This is a firm that represents both homeowners and HOAs, so there is a bit of a split focus here. Nevertheless, it has demonstrated extensive expertise in key areas such as collections, assessment enforcement, dispute resolution, and legal obligations.

DeWitt Law Firm

DeWitt Law Firm

DeWitt Law Firm is the final entrant, and it has been serving homeowners and condominium associations for over two decades. Sheri Dewitt is the star of the show here and she has been at the center of numerous litigation matters in the HOA space. She has a passion for consultation and deals with many different types of issues including voting rights, general counsel, foreclosure rights, etc.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the kind of value that an HOA lawyer can add to your operations and you even know a few of the top recommendations in the state.

On another note, don't forget to consider our proprietary HOA software solution. Book a free demo today to see it in action!

Frequently Asked Quesitons

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.