Having rules in a Homeowners Association is one thing, but you can find that you are up against HomeOwners law problems if you breach regulations in some instances. There have been media reports of some residents being taken to court because they breached the contractual agreements that they were obliged to sign when they moved into the neighborhood, contracts which are bound by homeowner law.
These contractual agreements are known by realtors as CC&Rs, or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. Collectively, they explain to new homeowners and current homeowners the laws and regulations of the neighborhood. There has been controversy that because of the sheer length of some of these documents (a 50-page contract, anyone?), many new homeowners to an area don’t fully appreciate all of the implications that being a part of a HOA brings.
All of this said, Home owners Association Law cannot be changed significantly at the slightest whim of the directors, with a majority vote of 66% being required for modifications to the CC&R of the area. This can protect you against any changes that may affect the life you lead in a neighborhood significantly.
Even though this can be the case for some HOAs, the circumstances that surround your local association can vary heavily dependent on your location. For example, the homeowner law which give associations in California and Florida significant powers are practically non-existent in other states like Massachusetts.
The homeowners laws that allow the Home owners Association to have power can be seen to be similar to that of the powers a local government has. With some associations having the ability to fine people and to take them to court if they are in serious breach of a regulation, the influence that a HOA has shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, there have been some homeowners who have been treated unfairly because of the misconduct of the HOA that they are represented by. For instance, a regulation that was enforced for a long time was a ban on the installation of satellite dishes – a regulation which many believed was undemocratic and limited a resident’s freedom. In effect, you can take your Homeowners Association in an attempt to overturn any fines that are levied to you or any new regulations which you believe are unreasonable. However, if new regulations were passed by a majority, you could find that you may have a limited amount of influence.
Reading this article, it can be almost too easy to conclude that Homeowners Associations are trouble and only intend to infringe the rights of the homeowner. This isn’t always true, with many HOAs having a long list of benefits for residents like you.
One benefit is the fact that your HOA could fund leisure facilities that are exclusive to your community, like swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational centers. It can be hard to afford access to such privileges independently, so the establishment of dedicated facilities for your use can help.
Further, some residents find that their HOA has been supportive of them in times of trouble and that the existence of such associations brings communities together in a time of distance. Whichever way you perceive Homeowners Associations and the laws they bring, for many of us, they are a way of life. If you are having problems with homeowner law however, you are best to deal with these issues as soon as possible rather then letting them advance to an uncontrollable stage.