Enforcing Rules & Regs

Back to homepage

Appeals court reverses summary judgment against homeowner (FL)

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a homeowners’ association.  The appeals court ruling follows a July 2016 decision by the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The circuit court

Read More

Be prepared to answer the question “Why?” if you want to defuse conflict in your community

“Why can’t we use the pool after dusk?” the wiry man at the microphone bellowed. “I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I need to use the pool to stay in shape” and with that statement, he pointed to

Read More

Residents: Home Values Drop Due to Unenforced CCRs (ID)

Residents of a Twin Falls subdivision are considering legal action against developers, saying the covenants, conditions and restrictions meant to regulate the neighborhood’s housing design and upkeep have not been enforced.  Julie Davis moved to Settlers Ridge Subdivision in northwest

Read More

Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

Read More

The Role of the Covenants Enforcement Officers in a Homeowners Association

The staff or volunteers you see occasionally walking around the community with clipboards or tablets are the homeowners association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe, and that nothing

Read More

Selective Enforcement: Common Sense Prevails

As often happens when a community association enforces its covenants and rules and regulations against an owner, the owner responds to the association saying, “The house down the street is in violation with the rules and regulations, too! Why aren’t

Read More

HOA Homefront – Can the association enforce unwritten rules?

Q:  This past year we got a new homeowners association manager, and there has been a huge increase in the number of violation letters. Some are for items like patio chairs on walkways, water hoses not coiled in specific areas,

Read More

Dealing with Difficult Residents

At some point, every community will face conflict and difficult people. When this occurs, remember that patience and communication always prevail. By managing your reactions, listening and asking the right questions, your community and board will come to a resolution.

Read More

The Unenforceable: When a Rule is Not a Rule

One Monday morning, I arrived at the office of one of our managed properties, and I was greeted by a visibly upset board president. Steeling myself for what was the source of her dissatisfaction, I asked “what is the matter?”

Read More

Condo Association Hearing Tips for Owners

The dreaded hearing. For whatever reason – maybe legitimate, maybe not – your Board has issued a hearing with your name on it. They want to meet with you over your behavior and they’ve got the power of the Bylaws

Read More

How to deal with a weak homeowners association

Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitor property conditions puts the complaining

Read More

Dear Monty: 3 options for homeowners in a weak homeowners association

More Content Now Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association (HOA) has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitoring property

Read More

Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL)

When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial

Read More

How to Judge Condo Association Hearings

You’ve prepared for your hearing and held your hearing – now it’s time for you to decide the outcome. This is the judgment and penalty phase of the hearing process. Unlike the other phases, in this phase, you’re dealing with

Read More

Unapproved HOA paint color leads to 2 year fight, thousands of dollars spent (AZ)

Do you think your HOA is picking on you? Well, you’re not alone.  Paulla thinks so too. The Phoenix woman’s home is under Kingswood HOA and her battle began two years ago stemming from a paint issue.  Her HOA approved

Read More

Enforcement Without the Force

As an HOA manager, you walk a fine line. You need to enforce the rules, but you don’t want to alienate everyone. You need to stay professional, but your role demands friendliness. While it’s your job to point out when

Read More

What Happens When You Don’t Follow HOA Rules?

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we learned what it means to live in a common interest community, generally, and what documents are used to establish the community – looking specifically at homeowners association controlled communities (“HOAs”).

Read More

What Restrictions Exist in a HOA?

In part one of the series, we answered what it means to live in a neighborhood association. Basically, it means that you live in a distinct area and that area, along with each of the property owners within it, are

Read More

How to Hold a Condo Association Hearing

Once you’ve prepared for a Condo Association hearing, you’ll have done all of the necessary legwork to minimize conflict and maximize the outcome. While preparation makes things easier, you will still need to go through with the hearing itself. These

Read More

Condo resident sues Palm Beach over code enforcement fines (FL)

A Palm Beach resident has filed suit against the town alleging that code enforcement and police officers violated his privacy rights when they entered his condo without permission and fined him nearly $25,000.  The suit was filed Jan. 13 by

Read More

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Laws, community association governing documents and policies are designed to help boards of directors identify their roles and responsibilities. They provide a framework of expectation for community members. And they can be immensely useful in dealing with inappropriate and ill-advised

Read More

Does a condo board have to enforce every single rule and regulation?

Q: I live in a condominium complex where there is no enforcement of the house rules. I have noisy neighbors, neighbors with three cars (for their two-person, one-bedroom condo), neighbors who erect anything and everything on the common elements. The

Read More

Dealing With Difficult People in Your HOA

Dealing with difficult people in any setting can be a real challenge. But in volunteer-based homeowner associations, where there is none of the leverage managers have with employees, there is an entirely new level of difficulty. And, believe it or

Read More

How to Prepare for a Condo Association Hearing

Hearings are a necessary evil for any large Association. Condo Associations create rules – sometimes lots of them. Generally, a cease and desist deters most Owners from breaking the rules. Every now and then, however, you need to hold a

Read More

How to Handle Condo Association Rules Being Ignored

A common question Owners ask is what to do if a Condo Association rule is being ignored and going unenforced. Understandably, this can cause significant consternation among Owners. Rules are meant to be followed, and if an Association isn’t following

Read More

Owner Function: Comply with Documents

As an owner within an association you should read, understand and comply with your governing documents. If you do not understand the documents, ask your neighbors, your board, or your personal attorney. Failure to understand your association’s governing documents (Bylaws,

Read More

If you are on a condo board enforcing rules in a reasonable fashion is part of your responsibility

The acid test for the board of directors success is do the owners (they elect the board) love living in their association?. Does the owners approval rating of your boards compare to our current approval rating of congress? If so

Read More

Live in an HOA? Hosting Thanksgiving? Remember these things…

First off, you’re welcome for this little list of helpful reminders about hosting Thanksgiving at your home that’s in an HOA. We know you are busy brining, basting, baking, mashing, mixing, cleaning, and whatever else it is you have to

Read More

HOA disciplinary hearings: not a public court process (CA)

Ifeveryone followed the Golden Rule (“do unto others…”), homeowners association disciplinary hearings would be rare. Unfortunately, hearings are a necessary, regular, and unpleasant board responsibility. These hearings are governed by Civil Code 5850 and 5855, which establish a simple system.

Read More

The Shakespeare Case and What it Means to Utah HOA’s

On June 22, 2016 the Utah Supreme Court published the Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association v. Shakespeare case, 2016 UT 28. This case established a bright line rule that the Court rejected strict construction

Read More

Condo Association Rules Enforcement

Condo Association rules are always a thorny issue. On the one hand, people want to live without feeling like they have to walk on eggshells. On the other, there are often enough jerks out there who do obnoxious things that

Read More

How Well Did You Communicate The HOA Rule?

Every HOA has rules. Every HOA Board has to create rules, and get compliance from community members.  Seems easy, right? Usually never.  Why? Because communication falls through or falls flat.  Hopefully, when HOA rules are written they are not overly

Read More

When Residents Are Disruptive: Tips for Keeping the Peace

Despite living in association, sometimes disputes erupt. Some residents just can’t be reasoned with. They’ll bother the board or other residents in various ways: noise at all hours, smells, maybe even just being a pest. No matter what it is,

Read More

New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

On October 14, 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new rule on quid pro quo and hostile environment housing practices under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) goes into effect. This new rule creates liability for housing

Read More

Neutrality

Association boards deal with a variety of unit owner behaviors and personalities. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are downright inexplicable. This can lead to both real and perceived bias.  Regardless of the behavior or how much the

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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…………

Read More

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

Read More