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Handling Legal Matters with Your Homeowners Association: An Interview with Stephen C. Watt, Attorney at Law

By Stephen C. Watt

Tell us a little bit about your firm and the areas of law that you practice.

Watt Law Firm is a small general practice which has been in existence since the 1950's with Attorney Stephen C. Watt's father who was an attorney. Attorney Stephen C. Watt went to work with his father in 1977. Attorney Stephen C. Watt also had different partners throughout the years. Attorney Stephen C. Watt evolved into the small firm of Watt Law Firm in Cascade, Michigan. It is a general practice doing mostly real estate, business law and probate. Watt Law Firm also occasionally does federal law.

What's the first thing that a new homeowner should know about being part of a homeowners association?

The first thing that a new homeowner should do is look at the rules and regulations of the association and find out what restrictions there are as to not to violate them and secondly, if they want to be involved with the association they should look into becoming elected to the board and how the association is governed.

What are the most common legal matters that you've seen arise with homeowners associations?

The most common legal issues are when homeowners don't fully understand the restrictions and go beyond the rules and regulations in the association.

Can you briefly describe the basic rights that homeowners have when it comes to disputes with their HOA?

Each association rules are different so look specifically at those to determine what your basic rights are but certainly if they are not being fairly administered across the full association then you surely have a right to object.

When should a homeowner who is having problems with their HOA consult a lawyer?

It is always best if you have a dispute of any kind that you contact an attorney as soon as possible due to the fact that you may save a lot of headaches down the road. If you get some good sound legal advice that you may or may not be doing within the rules of the association or in violation of the association.

Is there a law about HOAs that most people don't know about that they should know?

Home owners associations fees that are not paid for can become a lien on the property.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your firm?

Watt Law Firm is located 2951 Thornhills Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546. Phone number is 616-776-0000
Fax number is 616-776-3805
Assistant's email is wattlegalassistant@gmail.com
Attorney Stephen C. Watt's email is swatt68@gmail.com.

Our website is www.wattlawfirm.com
Facebook is www.facebook.com/wattlawfirm

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