Many Florida communities have organizations tasked with the responsibility of keeping up the appearance of the neighborhood and protecting home values. Before buying a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, potential homeowners would be wise to know what this group can and cannot do. There have been times when an HOA has overstepped the boundaries of its authority, and homeowners have the right to fight back.
What an HOA cannot do
The specific things an HOA can regulate depend on the neighborhood and the type of community, and these things are typically outlined in the agreement the owner will sign upon moving in. While an HOA can outline and enforce certain rules, there are specific things they cannot do, including:
- Discriminate on the basis of race, religion and other factors
- Fine the owner for things not outlined in the agreement
- Forbid a homeowner from having native plants in the yard
- Violate a homeowner’s personal rights
An HOA also cannot prevent a homeowner from taking his or her case to court or pursuing a legal resolution to his or her concerns. Additionally, an HOA cannot fine or retaliate against a homeowner in the community for exercising his or her rights.
If an HOA violates a Florida homeowner’s rights, he or she is entitled to fight back. It may be appropriate to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to learn more about the most effective way forward. An assessment of the case can determine if the HOA overstepped the boundaries of its authority and violated the rights of the owner.