8 Critical Legal Tips for Homeowners
Homeowners face unique legal issues involving insurance, homeowner associations, warranties, mortgages and more. The following tips are designed to help you plan for potential problems in the future and handle unexpected events when they occur. If you have questions, contact your LegalShield provider law firm and speak with an attorney.
- Insurance – Having an adequate homeowner's insurance policy is extremely important. Buying a policy because it is the most affordable may be a recipe for disaster. Make sure your policy covers natural disasters common to where you live. You should review your policy yearly to make sure your losses will be covered in the event of a disaster.
- Important Information – Keep important information, such as insurance documents, warranties, deeds and wills in a safe location where they will not be lost or destroyed.
- Homeowner Associations (HOA) – If you own a home or are considering the purchase of a home that is governed by an HOA it is vital that you understand the association’s bylaws. HOA bylaws often restrict modifications you can make to the property and regulate the property’s appearance. You may be fined for failing to adhere to your HOA’s bylaws. If you need assistance reviewing HOA bylaws contact your LegalShield provider law firm.
- Hiring a Contractor – Repairs and renovations are an inevitable part of homeownership. When you hire a contractor, avoid taking the lowest bid without considering other important factors. Check the contractor’s references and confirm that he or she is licensed and insured. Ask for a detailed written estimate of the cost and scope of the work before agreeing to anything. Your LegalShield provider law firm can help review a contractor’s agreement before you sign.
- Home & Appliance Warranties – Home and appliance warranties are only as good as their fine print. Before signing up for a warranty have your LegalShield provider law firm review the terms carefully for exclusions and hidden costs.
- Neighborhood Disputes – Disputes between neighbors over property lines, dangerous trees, animals and other disturbances can quickly spiral out of control. Before taking matters into your own hands call your LegalShield provider law firm and discuss your concerns with an attorney who understands the local laws.
- Mortgage Scams – The mortgage crisis led to a booming industry in mortgage relief scams. Be wary of forensic mortgage audits, loan modification guarantees and class action mortgage relief. Scammers use direct mail and phone calls to solicit victims with special refinancing offers. Do not sign any agreements or make any payments before speaking with your LegalShield provider law firm.
- Renting – Before you consider renting your property make sure your mortgage allows the space to be used as a non-primary residence. Many homeowners’ insurance policies exclude renters. Review the terms of your mortgage and insurance carefully. Your LegalShield provider law firm may also help review any lease or roommate agreements before they are signed.