A: One option is to speak to your neighbors and try to put together a coalition of homeowners to act jointly to put more pressure on the board.
If that fails, you could join together with those same homeowners and hire an attorney who specializes in homeowners’ association law. Your attorney should be able to produce results simply by writing a letter, rather than by filing suit.
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Long term, you should consider trying to get on the board yourself, and that way you could do your part to improve the management.
Q: We built a home in Bellaire in 2014. We paid to install a fence inside the lot line. Now, new homes have been built on both sides of our home and fences are not being built. Instead, they are using our fence. How should I proceed?
A: You can’t force your neighbors to install new fences. If they want to look at the back side of your fence, it is their right to do so.
Q: When I financed the purchase of my home, it was done in the form of two loans. One was a larger loan, and the other was a smaller loan for $16,000. After I paid the smaller loan in full, I received papers from the lender telling me to file the papers with the county. But when I went to the county, they said the lender had already filed them. What should the papers I have look like as far as wording goes, showing and stating that the smaller loan is paid off?
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A: The key document will most likely be called a Release of Lien. It will be signed, dated and notarized by the lender.
You can tell if your copy has been recorded because there will be recording information printed on the top of the first page and maybe the last page. And if you are in Harris County, you will also see some abbreviations that are handwritten, usually in cursive writing, in the right margin of the document.
If the Release of Lien you have in your possession does not have that information on it, then you may simply have a copy of the Release before it was recorded. In that case, you should go back to the county and request a certified copy of the recorded Release of Lien.
The information in this column is intended to provide a general understanding of the law, not legal advice. Readers with legal problems, including those whose questions are addressed here, should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances. Ronald Lipman of the Houston law firm Lipman & Associates is board-certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.