Enforcing Rules & Regs

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Are You Observing Constitutional Rights in Disciplinary Hearings?

Boards of directors of community associations (and, unfortunately, even the attorneys advising them) will sometimes mistakenly believe that co-owners are not entitled to certain Constitutional rights of due process with respect to disciplinary hearings. They might warn a co-owner not

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Homeowners Association/Reasonableness Of Fees/Section 1717: $25,614 Post-Judgment Enforcement Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal

The attorney for the prevailing homeowners association (HOA) did something very smart in Bryan Ranch Homeowners Assn. v. Lawrence, Case No. A147659 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 16, 2016) (unpublished), which we will now describe.  There, a homeowner and HOA

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The Truth about HOAs: Don’t Blame Governing Documents, Blame Inconsistent Enforcement

MYTH: ENFORCING YOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS LEADS TO UNHAPPY HOMEOWNERS.  Most people believe that enforcing the Rules and Regulations and other restrictions in the Declaration leads to unhappy homeowners. It feels right, because no one likes to get a

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Can an Association Suspend an Owner’s Right to Use Common Facilities? (FL)

Association boards frequently ask what recourse they have against owners who fall behind on paying assessments, or violate other provisions of an association’s governing documents. While most associations’ governing documents provide for the right to fine owners and place a

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Is Selective Enforcement of Restrictions Acceptable?

Q: Some of my neighbors and I recently received notices for violations of our community’s restrictive covenants (CCRs) based on the condition of our lawns. However, the homeowner across the street from me has four or five commercial vehicles parked

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The ‘PS’ of Community Living: Rules Enforcement

Question: We live in a nice community, but every so often someone breaks one of our rules. Sometimes the infraction is minor — such as washing their car on the public street. Other times, the violation is more serious, such

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Summer Time Rules

It is that time of year again in Ohio! The warm weather entices everyone to go outside and enjoy all of summer’s possibilities. With the increased activity on your community association’s property, boards should review their rule booklets to help

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HOA Board Function: Enforce Governing Documents

Another important function of the association’s board of directors is to enforce governing documents. Unfortunately this function is often viewed with disdain by owners against whom enforcement is being sought. Owners on the receiving end of enforcement proceedings often feel

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New Ruling Strengthens Association’s Ability to Demand Homeowners Maintain Appearance of Their Residence (FL)

For most homeowners association communities, one of the primary functions for the associations in their enforcement of the community’s declaration is ensuring that all of the homeowners are maintaining the exterior appearance of their property. Poorly maintained homes detract from

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Are There Exceptions to the Rules in a Homeowners Association?

Associations have rules to preserve the appearance of the community, protect the value of the common property and individual homes, and make the neighborhood more harmonious for all. What you may not know is that in some rare instances, the

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Enforcement of CC&R’s

Condominium and homeowner association CC&Rs are, in many ways, similar to contracts. If one party breaches the terms of the contract, the other party may seek the help of the legal system for damages or to require the breaching party

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Hoverboards: Addressing Their Risks for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

Two-wheeled personal mobility devices, or hoverboards, were the ubiquitous holiday gift in 2015. Small, new and exciting, these contraptions quickly shot to the top of the wish list for many individuals, even those not technologically savvy. Once the wrapping paper

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Association Rules Specifying Children Can Spell Trouble!

Once upon a time, community associations passed rules which all but shouted that children were a nuisance. Rules were routinely passed which clarified that little Tommy and Tina couldn’t use the pool, clubhouse, exercise room or other amenities without Mom

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Alamo (CA): License-plate camera plan divides neighborhood

A homeowners association is facing pushback from some residents who say they don’t want a license-plate camera system — like some area cities use — that the association board is considering.   Read the article…………

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Courts Say Condo Boards Can’t Levy “Confiscatory” Penalties

The bylaws of many condominiums authorize the board of managers to impose fines for violations of the rules and regula­tions, and also authorize the collection of late fees for failure to pay the common charges on time. However, recent court

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Squatters in HOAs: Can Anything Be Done?

Since the country’s economic crisis began in September 2008, it is estimated that more than six million homes were lost to foreclosure. And foreclosure was often just the start of problems for these properties. With that volume, many times these

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Are law enforcement vehicles subject to Community Association “commercial vehicle” bans?

One common provision in homeowners association’s and condominium association’s governing documents is a prohibition against the keeping of “commercial vehicles” within the community.   Read the article………

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Properly Written – and Enforced – House Rules Can Keep Your Building From Becoming a Living Hell

Today’s New York Post carries a story about a unit owner in a luxury Upper East Side condo who has sued his upstairs neighbors for allowing their kids to play floor hockey in the hallway, sometimes as early at 6:30

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How to Approach Homeowners Who Break the Rules

Rules and guidelines are developed by homeowners associations and monitored by the community association management team to ensure that properties within the community are safe, well-maintained, and retain the highest possible value. Community management services like regular inspections play a

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Tips for Enforcing HOA Rules Respectfully

Rules and regulations are part of the territory when it comes to running and living in an HOA community. These rules are what keep things running smoothly and protect the value and integrity of the neighborhood. While every homeowner might

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Court Upholds Association Foreclosure for Unpaid Fines

A Connecticut court recently upheld a foreclosure action after an owner refused to pay fines assessed for her failure to construct a deck in accordance with board approved plans. Although this case was decided by a Connecticut court and is

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Rules Violations Create Community Conflict

Rules are rules in a homeowner association. Whether an infraction is minor or a flagrant violation, consistent enforcement among homeowners is a must. Rules should be written so that violations aren’t left up to interpretation. If your HOA Board is

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Denying Access: Consequences for Arrears and Non-Payment

The synopsis for the 2013 horror film The Purge is pretty extreme: in the future, society implements a 12-hour period called “the purge,” wherein any and all crime is legalized. Always wanted to vandalize your boss’s car? Thinking about shoplifting

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Is your association selectively enforcing its deed restrictions?

When a community association takes legal action to force an owner to comply with deed restrictions, the owner’s first defense is almost always “selective enforcement”. This defense essentially alleges that the association is not treating its members fairly and equally.

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Can an HOA Change Its Mind about Fines?

A rather unusual community association decision was issued yesterday by the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Without question, the facts are rather convoluted and not of that much interest to other associations, but there’s one takeaway worth noting.   Read the

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Rules are Rules

Funny story. A condominium association I represent is located in such a way that I could see their amenities – a small swimming pool and tennis courts – from my office window. One summer, the association was involved in some

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Association Regulations Can Lose Their Teeth If Not Enforced

Question: Our homeowners’ association board and management company do not enforce the restrictions contained in our governing documents. While the association occasionally sends out a letter to an owner advising them of a violation, there is no fining committee and

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Noise Rules: Keep it Down—But Keep it Fair

When you live in a multifamily building, however, peace and quiet can be hard to come by. From the guy upstairs who gargles loudly at precisely 6:47 a.m. every morning to the neighbor with the yapping Chihuahua—at some point the

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Going by the Book – The Importance of Following the Rules

It happens in business, government, and industry every day: employees learn the rules of a new job, and very shortly thereafter, they start taking shortcuts to circumvent them. Rarely is this done with malicious intent. More often, it is simply

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You Ask. We Investigate.® HOA Traffic Tickets (CA)

The homeowners association board in Sun City Shadow Hills Del Webb in Indio recently raised traffic citation fines from $50 to $200. This has some residents upset. They say this retirement community should not be issuing fines that high without

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Access Denied! . . . Or is it? The Condominium Association’s Right to Request Entry to a Unit to Inspect for Default

An association of co-owners within a condominium project is responsible for enforcing the condominium project’s master deed, bylaws and any rules and regulations. In many instances, the association will be able to determine whether an alleged violation warrants a declaration

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What Roger Goodell and the NFL Can Learn from HOAs

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman’s recent voiding of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension caused shockwaves across the NFL. Though the NFL has appealed the judicial ruling, Deflategate is, well, deflated and all but gone. There are, however,

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Clearly defining nuisance activity in your governing documents can help association boards avoid future headaches

A nuisance is generally defined as a person, thing or circumstance which causes inconvenience or annoyance. For some people living in shared ownership communities, there is no escaping a nuisance situation that has risen to a level which impacts the

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Covenant Enforcement Options for HOAs

What happens when someone decides they want to put up gaudy decorations on their front lawn or decides to let the yard “go back to nature” rather than mow it and keep it in shape? What do you do when

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Dog Poop and HOA Compliance

Picture this: you’re walking through your community’s common area with your family, enjoying an early-evening walk when you hear a distinctive “SQUISH”. You’ve just stepped in poop. Gross!  There are very few things that can ruin a nice walk faster

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Enforcement Problems

All owners within homeowner and condominium associations must comply with the governing documents. The governing documents include the Declaration (CC&Rs), Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and Rules and Regulations. It’s the obligation of the community association to enforce the governing documents

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Godd Fences Make Good Neighbors…..Unless There Is Nowhere to Put a Fence

When I met my now husband he lived in a house that was very close to the neighbors with very little “breathing room.” When I asked him about his neighbors he said that he didn’t know them. I found this

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Best Practices for Community Association Covenant Compliance

The role of a Community Association is to maintain a quality standard of living for their community. These associations protect property values by maintaining common areas and outlining a set of rules that each resident must adhere to, commonly called

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Does the Board Have a Duty to Enforce the Master Deed, Bylaws…..As Written?

In Michigan, the terms of a master deed, bylaws or other restrictive covenants are contractual in nature. See Rossow v. Brentwood Farms Dev, Inc, 251 Mich App 652, 658, 651 NW2d 458 (2002). The Michigan Courts have generally held that

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Private Zoning vs. Public Zoning: A Community Association Dilemma

Question: My husband and I have recently retired, and are supplementing our income by giving music lessons in our home. Recently, the Board of Directors of our condominium association has advised us that our legal documents specifically state that our

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Nuisance?

A nuisance is much like any other alleged violation of an association’s Governing Documents in that there must be a power source for the association to take enforcement action. While it is easy to allege that someone is “creating a

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HOA Rules and Regulations: What to Know Before You Buy

………….However, the homeowner association for her upscale neighborhood in Harrison Township, Michigan, said the shed violated deed restrictions — and threatened to sue her and her husband if it wasn’t removed. Unintimidated, Fuca sued the association first. You see, she

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Don’t Disregard the Formalities of Due Process

The formalities of the law and due process are in place to protect the rights of individuals. When the procedures of due process are skirted it can strip a community association of the ability to enforce its rules or levy

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You Can’t Enforce That!!! Oh yes we can.

It is not unusual for us to encounter communities with strict restrictive covenants that have not been enforced in a strict manner.  Much of the time, this is due to apathy or ignorance.  In other circumstances, Board turnover results in

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Because It’s The Rules

There are seemingly two types of people who live in houses or condominiums that are subject to rules and regulations, known as Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, or “CC&R’s.” There are those who live there because there are CC&R’s, and there

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Adverse Impact on “Quiet Enjoyment” in Your HOA, What Does That Mean?

Legalese is challenging sometimes. Words and phrases like fiduciary duty, waiver and hold harmless, and impact on quiet enjoyment are bandied about like everyone should know that they mean.  Most HOA or condo documents have a prohibition of some kind

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Using Drones To Enforce HOA Violations

Drones are quite the “buzz” nowadays. Last month the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon permission to start testing their delivery drones. Imagine getting your packages minutes after ordering them. Amazing.   Read the article……….

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California Appellate Court Affirms Association’s Right to Impose Restrictions on Hardwood Flooring

One of the consistent issues plaguing condominium associations is that of unapproved hardwood floors. Often installed in an attempt not only to improve or beautify the unit, but also help alleviate dust allergies. However, when installed over a lower floor

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Time Warner Center (NY) condo board wins right of first refusal suit

A former resident of the Time Warner Center lost his court battle to sell his unit at the Related Cos. luxury property to a buyer of his choice, with an appellate court ruling that the condo board properly exercised its

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Community Association Violations

Associations are small governments that are responsible for keeping their communities and buildings safe, while always trying to maintain and increase the value of the homes in the community.  The association’s Declaration and/or Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R) are put

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