HOA rules are great for the order they bring to your community. These rules help with providing structure and maintaining peace. But this doesn’t mean that the rules are always enforceable. A community might be operating on some unenforceable HOA rules.
It is possible for an HOA to enforce a rule that comes off as annoying or offensive. Or even a rule that outrightly breaks a law. If you are uncomfortable with a rule in your community, you should speak up. By asking questions, you can gain clarity. Here are some unenforceable HOA rules and how homeowners can protect themselves.
HOA rules are rules that guide the community at large. Different associations have guidelines of operations, and HOAs are no different. While these rules help to govern the community, they sometimes are rules that can violate a law. When a rule violates a law, it becomes unenforceable.
Unenforceable HOA rules are rules an HOA cannot implement. It cannot be enforced if a particular rule goes against a federal or state law. Here are a few examples of these rules.
An HOA cannot enforce rules that violate the law. If an HOA operates on a rule that goes against federal or state law, such rules are unenforceable. Some of these laws are:
There are processes for implementing or correcting rules. An HOA can’t enforce a law on a whim. It can’t decide to declare a rule anytime it wants.
An association has the right to amend or introduce new laws. But it must follow a proper process when doing this. If the proper procedures are not observed, then that rule is unenforceable.
The Fair Housing Act forbids an HOA from discrimination. An HOA cannot enforce a selective rule. If it fines or punishes a certain class of people and not the others, such a rule is inconsistent.
Another inconsistency might be an HOA trying to enforce a rule that hasn’t been in place for a long time. It will be unfair to punish anyone for breaking such a rule.
An HOA can fine or punish you if you violate any of its conventions, conditions & restrictions.
However, it can’t punish you simply because it can. This will be an abuse of power. It goes against the law for an HOA to punish its members without a valid reason.
Learn the CC&Rs of your HOA so you can avoid breaking them.
An HOA can’t be a tyrant to homeowners within the association. The board might mean well to the community, but it can also try to implement unenforceable rules. If you feel your board members are overstepping, here are three things you can do.
You can talk to the HOA board about an unenforceable rule. You can reach out in person or via letter. Ensure you write professionally. State your facts clearly and how the rules may be violating a rule. If your facts are right, you might succeed at changing your board’s verdict.
As a homeowner, you can seek a dispute resolution before a lawsuit. You can do this through mediation or arbitration.
If other options are futile, legal action might be the next step. You can challenge the validity of an HOA rule in court.
If you own a property within an HOA, you are already familiar with the rules and regulations. Homeowners are expected to abide by these rules. But when a rule goes against your rights, you should question them.
An HOAs may mean well for the community. However, they might implement laws that are detrimental to the association. An association and HOA management team can help you prevent unenforceable rules. At Evernest, we help homeowners and communities maximize their investments. Contact us today, let’s manage your community.
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