Common Legal Issues a Houseowner Might Face

You probably already know that being a houseowner comes with a great deal of freedom and responsibilities. You may enjoy being able to renovate your home, stay in your private backyard, and add to your equity. However, there are common legal issues you may face. Being aware of these common things can help any houseowner be proactive in preventing them. Protect yourself this year by reading this article to see what some of these issues are.

Property Disputes

Unfortunately, property disputes can bring a lot of stress to your home. Such disputes may happen if you have a neighbor close by. The situation can be even more stressful when you have a neighbor on both ends of your property. One of the best ways to solve this problem is by building a fence. Get the exact dimensions of your property measured and have it closed off by a fencing contractor. You may also want to get the defined dimension of your property from your local municipality.

If dealing with property disputes, a fence can give you additional protection by giving you privacy from an annoying neighbor. You may feel more comfortable going outside without having to look over and see your neighbor. Legally, you can build a fence as high as seven feet. You can build a quality aluminum fence that can withstand the elements and look beautiful. A quality fence made from materials like aluminum or iron can last decades and add more value to your property. As a result, a property dispute a houseowner may face can work out by adding more value and curb appeal to your property.

If your neighbor continues to harass you over the property dispute don’t be afraid to usually go right. Any security camera that you have on your property to always catch them in action. Whether they’re trying to invade your property or harass you, make sure that you record it and contact a lawyer if necessary.

Accident Liability

Accidents don’t just happen when you drive a car. These accidents can also happen on your property. As a result, a responsible houseowner should ensure the home has safe surfaces and features inside and out. One of the ways to avoid having to contact an accident lawyer is to contact a local paving company. Keeping your garage and walkways paved not only adds to your curb appeal but can prevent you and your guests from tripping over cracks or potholes. A bad trip in the wrong direction can fracture or break a bone or worse. If someone is hurt on your property, you may be liable for personal injury.

Another outside update that can prevent injury is gutter guards. Your gutters are responsible for moving water from your roof and away from your basement. If you live in an area with harsh winters, ice can form over those gutters by way of ice dams. Those ice dams can build, become heavy, and eventually fall to the ground unexpectedly. Anybody standing on the ground when these dams fall may be hurt. Reduce the likelihood of liability by adding gutter guards that can prevent these formations from happening.

You should also take the same precautions inside your home. For example, if your floors have been prone to slip and fall incidents, you may want to prevent that by repairing or replacing old or worn floorboards. You may want to further protect your floors and prevent accidents by installing epoxy floor coating.

Do you have any wall hangings secured? Whether it’s paintings, wall sculptures, or bookcases, double-check that they’re properly nailed to your wall. After all, you don’t want them to easily fall and hurt a guest. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you may want to be very cautious of where you hang things on walls and how heavy.

HOA Violations

Living in an HOA development has its perks. After all, you’re likely to live in a well-maintained community that is sought after. Because there are regulations that people must maintain, houses and lawns will look beautiful and respectable. You shouldn’t have to worry about stepping on dog poop as those regulations include cleaning up behind your pet. Therefore, any houseowner in such an area must live up to the standards. HOA violations may start with a warning. However, if you don’t heed such warnings, results include serious fines and eventual removal from the association. If you must leave the HOA, you must leave the neighborhood.

HOA violations include having a trashy lawn. That’s why you should be aware of keeping your kids and pet toys picked up daily. Store those items somewhere inside the house or out back. If the amount of trash inside and outside of your home has gotten out of control, professional help is available. You can enlist the services of a professional junk removal contractor. They have a range of containers available for your seasonal cleaning home clean-out and other cleaning projects. Some also help you with the trash collection.

Another common HOA violation includes noise pollution. You may have a beautiful home where you enjoy hosting parties. You can have fun, especially this summer, while still being mindful of your neighbors. Some associations may have a particular hour span that’s considered quiet time. If you don’t have that set hour, common quiet time often starts around 9 or 10:00 at night as that’s usually the time people go to bed and lasts until around 8:00 in the morning.

Your exterior upkeep also includes your paintwork. Some HOA regulations include keeping their home in certain colors. Don’t be surprised if you see many HOA developments with white or big houses. However, you can get creative with more colorful trimming or a colorful fence. However, if your exterior house paint is too bold, such as neon green paint, it may violate your HOA restrictions. If you do that, you may have to take the time to repaint your house in a new color. That’s why before a houseowner makes such a large exterior renovation, such as exterior painting, roofing work, or fencing, you may need to alert the association to ensure you comply with their rules.

Construction Defects

As a responsible houseowner, you should never ignore construction issues. Remember, such defects not only affect you but also your renters and your neighbors. For example, your septic needs regular cleaning at least every three to five years, according to Bob Vila. Your septic tank also needs a regular inspection. Getting your regular septic inspection can ensure the tank doesn’t have problems such as leakage. If leakage has happened due to the use of over-the-counter chemicals or a puncture from a tree root, it can create leakage into your soil and water supply. This type of leakage can affect the environment and would result in a very costly fine. Therefore, make sure your property is safe and doesn’t cause destruction, such as uprooted foundations or polluted water.

If you’re a landlord, it’s imperative to maintain the construction integrity of every building you own, not just the one you live in. A construction deficit can cause a roof or wall to cave in, as well as poisoning from lead pipes or asbestos. If you have inherited or bought an older home or building, make sure it has thorough inspections from certified professionals. That way, you can ensure nothing is poisonous in the home that can affect anyone’s health or physical safety.

Insurance Claims

A roof is a vital part of your home and is susceptible to needing repairs and eventual replacement. One of the most common materials is asphalt shingles. At some point, you may need to check your roofing insurance to help you pay for a new roof. However, you may violate insurance claims if you haven’t remained in compliance with your roofing insurance contract. One way you can violate your roofing insurance is having made any DIY repairs instead of calling a professional. According to Bob Vila, you should have your roof inspected at least once a year. If you have neglected to get these regular inspections and timely service that could have prevented a larger issue, such as an early replacement, you’re in violation of making such insurance claims. As a result, you may end up losing roof insurance and have to pay for any cost out of your pocket.

Zoning Violations

Be aware of zone violations. When you do need new structures on your property, you need to get the right permits. From an exterior garage to a pool to a water well, you need permission from your local municipality. If you do local water well drilling without a valid permit, you have created a major violation. These violations can result in major fines and the deconstructing of the illegal structure that you made.

Nuisance Complaints

There are several ways you can become a nuisance in your neighborhood. As mentioned, if you’re in violation of noise pollution, you can lose your HOA membership. You may even have a visit from the police department and get noise citations. If you’re doing illegal renovations, particularly at the wrong time, that can also create a nuisance. For example, an excavation company can make a lot of noise when they’re digging out the foundation for a pool or other structure. This type of noise may be too much for a small neighborhood. It’s an even bigger issue without a permit.

Eminent Domain

No houseowner wants to be faced with eminent domain. However, it’s in the constitution and says the government has omnipotent power over all the land in the country. Therefore, even if you have private property, the government can seize it to build public property such as roads, bridges, and educational facilities. In exchange for taking private property, they agree to compensate you with a fair market rate. So even if you try to close off your property with a cedar fence, under this law, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Central Park is a perfect example of the power of eminent domain. Before the renowned park was built, it was once an established middle-class establishment that had a diverse population.

Environmental Regulations

A responsible homeowner should be aware of their impact on the environment. That’s why more houseowners and businesses are trying to reduce their carbon impact by watching the type of fuel they use. If you use highly polluting fossil fuels that give off a large amount of exhaust, you’re much more likely to contaminate your area. Improper disposal of such fuels like Diesel and other oils, can contaminate the environment.

Therefore, make sure you’re always handling your trash disposal correctly. Consider regulations when it comes to recycling. Even with recycling, you should sort things properly so they won’t have to be removed. For example, many recycling facilities do not accept glass. Taking the time to do the extra steps for recycling sorting can help reduce the likelihood of recycling contamination.

Tax Assessment Disputes

As you know, being a house owner comes with tax liabilities. You can get many tax breaks by owning your own home. If you don’t fill out your forms correctly, you may hear from the IRS. Avoid having disputes by having a professional accounting firm handle your tax documentation. Your tax situation may be complicated if you have more than one property, and use any of them for rental income. Avoid legal disputes by ensuring information is filled out correctly, so you don’t owe back taxes.

Take your houseowner duties seriously. Owning a home can be a beautiful thing and you’re in control of your living space. Just remember many legal liabilities may come your way if you’re not careful. If you haven’t purchased the home yet and are ready to do so, look up all of these relevant topics. Even if you owned a home for several years, you should double-check these laws to prevent future problems. If you own a home in 2024 and beyond, good luck, and hopefully you won’t have any legal issues.

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