When moving into a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association, a new owner will benefit from learning as much as possible about what this group can control and mandate. HOAs can be beneficial tools when run appropriately as they can help protect the home values and the overall appearance of a Florida community. However, there are times when these groups can act unfairly, attempting to enforce rules that are unfair or even illegal.
Examples of unfair rules in a neighborhood
HOAs do not have absolute authority, and they cannot violate the rights of homeowners. They can only enforce the bylaws listed in the agreement, but only if they do not violate federal or state laws. Examples of how HOAs can act unfairly include:
- Only enforcing some rules, but not all of them
- Only enforcing the rules with some homeowners, but not all of them
- Making new rules without proper voting procedures
- Acting in ways that are discriminatory against certain homeowners
These examples of unfair actions from an HOA illustrate the importance of a homeowner understanding the rules of the neighborhood. This will allow one to fully understand if he or she is experiencing a violation of his or her property rights.
The rights of a homeowner
A Florida homeowner does not have to remain silent if he or she is experiencing a violation of personal rights because of unfair HOA rules or actions. It is possible for an owner to take legal action against an HOA, seeking a fair resolution to an ongoing concern. However, it will be beneficial to first discuss concerns with an experienced real estate attorney.