What Are HOA Violations & How to Avoid Them

Becoming a member of a homeowners’ association (HOA) has many advantages, including increased home values and better amenities. However, the extra perks don’t come without a price. Members of the association are expected to upkeep their homes and abide by specific rules and guidelines. When a homeowner fails to live up to these expectations, they’ll […]

Kailua woman who terrorized neighbors for years ordered to pay $1M (HI)

A jury has ordered a Kailua woman who terrorized her neighbors for years to pay nearly $1 million to the Windward Passage complex’s condo association.  The condo board accused Sheree Heke of conducting a campaign of abuse against homeowners for several years.   Read the article…………………………..

Tips to Avoid Selective Rules Enforcement

One of the most challenging aspects of effectively managing a condominium or homeowners association is dealing with board membership turnover and inconsistency in rule enforcement as a result. When members decide to run, they often do so because they feel the current leadership is not doing a good job, including rule enforcement.    Read the article……………………..

Avoiding Inconsistent Enforcement in Your Association … Community Leaders Take Heed

Inconsistent, or selective, enforcement of covenants, restrictions and rules & regulations by a Community Association is, unfortunately, a frequent occurrence. Community leaders must understand that inconsistent enforcement by an Association for even a minor issue can lead to major liability for an Association. This article will explore some of the issues surrounding inconsistent enforcement and […]

Rules violation hearings not a court of law (IL)

Q. Your recent article quotes the term “due process” regarding hearings for violations and fines. I would like to know why boards are not required to hold these hearings with a swearing in, a court reporter and hearing officer to attend. Without this formal requirement or process both the owner or the complainer may tell […]

Three ways to enforce HOA rules and regulations (MO)

Homeowners associations exist to keep residential areas safe and looking their best. Unfortunately, not all residents of neighborhoods with an HOA agree with all of the rules and regulations, or they may be unaware of specific rules because they failed to read the community covenants, conditions and restrictions declaration given them upon move-in. When a […]

Can an Association Create and Enforce Rules that Only Apply to Children? (CA)

Asked – Our Association is seeking legal guidance regarding children playing in the common areas and driveways. Several homeowners have complained about the number of children playing without supervision. Drivers report their concern for the children’s safety as there have been several reports of children almost hurt. The Board would like to know if they […]

Do you have Difficult People in your Condo or HOA?

Do you have difficult people in your condo or HOA? It seems that these days the loudest voice will win an argument. Who’s right or wrong doesn’t matter, it’s all about intimidation. People with a chip on their shoulders will always make their presence known in your condo or HOA. This is not a new […]

Fines and Penalties – Using Them Fairly and Effectively (NY)

Community living comes with lots of rules and regulations—many of which are codified in largely static, hard-to-amend governing documents like proprietary leases and condominium declarations. Others are laid out in the more flexible context of house rules, which can (and should!) continue to evolve as times change and community values and demographics shift. House rules […]

Everything Your Board Needs to Know About Parking Enforcement & Towing

Many communities struggle to manage parking rules and enforcement. For townhomes and condos with limited spaces, the problems are only amplified with additional limits on guests and times of day you can park. If your HOA needs to rethink its parking policies, we can help. We’ve advised countless communities on how to solve their parking […]

Speeding in HOAs

Speeding cars were a contributing factor in 26% of vehicle-related deaths in 2017, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even with the best road and weather conditions, driving too fast exponentially reduces a driver’s control over steering and increases the time it takes to stop a vehicle. Of course, the number of accidents caused […]

What is Noxious Activity in an HOA?

Within any HOA, you’ll find a variety of folks with differing lifestyles, interests, and personalities. While diversity creates a well-rounded community, it can also be a breeding ground for frequent disagreements and complaints. It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to approach their HOA board when they find the actions of a neighbor offensive or bothersome.  […]

Enforce or not to Enforce? A Community Associations’ Liability in Tort Cases (FL)

The Fourth District Court of Appeals recently addressed an association’s liability for failure to enforce no-street parking restrictions in Seminole Lakes HOA, Inc. v. Esnard, Case No. 4D18-15 (Fla. 4th DCA December 19, 2018). The case arose out of a car accident between Esnard and another driver which occurred inside the Seminole Lakes community.   Read […]

What to Know About HOA Rules, Regulations and Compliance (NC)

Homeowners associations (HOAs) provide many benefits to residents, from managing amenities to maintaining common areas and enforcing the association’s rules and regulations. Homeowner compliance with the HOA rules and regulations and covenants, when consistently enforced, help provide uniformity and aesthetically pleasing communities.   Read the article………………

Walking the “Fine Line”: Imposing Fines in Your HOA

If you enjoy making your homeowners mad, you should definitely fine them. Levying them with extra costs is the ideal way to irritate, frustrate, and generate hate for the HOA throughout your community. And it’s not just the homeowners you fine that’ll be mad — no sir. Homeowners talk to each other. They talk about […]

Pump the brakes: How some communities slow drivers

When CAI’s Common Ground magazine asked readers whether they have problems with drivers speeding in their communities, a staggering 98% of respondents reported that they do, and nearly all (95%) use at least some form of speed control measures—from signs and speed humps to ticketing and cameras.  The most effective solution to slowing drivers is […]

How Can Your HOA Enforce Proper Swim Attire?

Can our community adopt rules concerning appropriate attire at the pool? How would we enforce it? We have a lot of families and young children using the pool during the summer, and we’d like to head off a potential problem if possible.   Read the article………………………..

Can Condominium or Homeowners’ Associations Suspend Use Rights and Voting Rights Due to Delinquency? (FL)

You’ve likely been there before. An owner is delinquent in the payment of a monetary obligation to your condominium and/or homeowners’ association, but that owner is still enjoying the common area/element amenities, such as the pool, gym, clubhouse, etc. and voting in association-related matters. That’s certainly frustrating and our Firm is often asked what recourse […]

Novi family angry over request to remove Virgin Mary statue (MI)

Every morning, each member of the Samona family stops to pray in front of a small statue of the Virgin Mary that adorns the flower bed in the yard of their Novi home.  They pause again in front of the tiny statue when they return home at day’s end. It’s been part of the family’s […]

Decision on fines for homeowners delayed, public input encouraged (MD)

The Ocean Pines Board of Directors is holding off on a decision on a referendum that would allow the governing body to fine certain property owners.  We’re told the board decided to hold off because they have two interim members with one vacancy, and will hold off on making this critical decision after the elections.  […]

Governing by the Book – Deviating From Governing Docs Can Cost You (NY)

Most newly-elected condo or co-op board members aren’t experts in running a multifamily building or development. They may be eager, enthusiastic, and committed to serving their community. But they also probably have little idea of how to do that until they’ve learned a bit more through experience. Fortunately, co-ops, condos and HOAs all have an […]

Avoiding Selective Rules Enforcement for Condo Associations (FL)

One of the most challenging aspects of effectively running and operating a condominium association is the constant turnover in board membership and the inconsistency this creates concerning rules enforcement. Most association board seats are up for reelection every one to two years. When members decide to run for the board, they often do so because […]

Premises Liability for Failure to Enforce (FL)

There are two recent cases of which community association boards should be particularly aware of. Both cases involved residents who were injured by third parties but who filed suit against their association claiming that the association was also partly responsible for their damages because of their failure to enforce the rules and restrictions in the […]

What’s in a Fine? (MD)

Yes, here at FLS you can get your condo law with a side of Shakespeare. And today we are talking about that most inflammatory of community association topics: the FINE. When an owner violates a provision of the governing documents, the Association may have several avenues of recourse. It can file for an injunction and […]

HOA Board Enforcement Policy Gone Wild? (CO)

How much can your HOA Board do without owner approval? When the HOA Board takes steps that can cost the owners money, like adopting an enforcement policy, owners get concerned. Enforcement policy usually involves fines and fees for non-compliance with the HOA covenants. Don’t all the owners get a say on that important of a […]

Court of Appeals Affirms Public Policy in Favor of Adult Care Facilities (MI)

Just about every set of bylaws has them – restrictions on “commercial” activity and the requirement that a home/unit be used only for “residential” purposes. However, litigation regularly erupts over whether certain activities are commercial or residential in nature.  With regard to adult foster care facilities and whether they constitute commercial or residential activity in […]

Enforcement of Covenants (FL)

The covenant enforcement process begins with inspecting the Community. Typically, your management company will send violation letters to the Owner regarding the observed violations in an attempt to resolve the matter prior to our Law Firm’s involvement. The number of violation letters sent to the Owner is determined by the Board of Directors. If the […]

How to Enforce Bylaws in Condominiums (CA)

An important aspect of condominium life is knowing how to resolve disputes and enforce the homeowner association bylaws. California law sets forth the basic condominium rules in the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. Your HOA governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions or CC&Rs, may have additional rules. In most situations, […]

Villages of Five Points board throws book at library (DE)

A library kiosk built on a concrete slab with two benches in The Villages of Five Points has homeowners association board members upset enough to levy $6,000 in fines against the Lewes Public Library with $50 a day fines accruing since March 23.  In a resolution adopted by The Villages of Five Points Board of […]

What to do when your condo board doesn’t enforce rules fairly

Q: What is the condominium board’s responsibility for enforcing our condo homeowners association’s rules/regulations?  For example, our association limits the number of dogs to no more than two per condo. Our new neighbors have three dogs and are not very good about cleaning up after them. We do not have any private yards in our […]

The Million Dollar Flower Pot Fiasco

No matter how innocent or small the violation, never underestimate the possibility of it blowing up and costing both the association and owner far more money than it ever should have. Case in point: Avignon Villa Homes and Mr. Jim Hildebrand. This dispute involves a Kansas community where an owner decided to fight for his […]

Homeowner Associations: Covenant Enforcement

Can my neighbor leave their trash cans outside? Can I build a shed for tools? Can my neighbor install that huge, ugly new fence? Nothing is more uncertain than whether a specific action by a homeowner violates a common interest community covenant running with the land. Homeowner association covenant enforcement is a tricky business. Many […]

The Right Approach to Violation Disputes | Part 2 of 2

Another major source of disputes, especially during issues of violation resolution, relate to changing the rules. Every homeowner in your HOA is held to the same standard, but they also have a right to take action and change what those standards are. That is supposed to be the major benefit of living in an HOA, […]

The Right Approach to Violation Disputes | Part 1 of 2

As an HOA, it is your duty to uphold the rules of the community. These rules were written to ensure the health, happiness, and property values of everyone in the neighborhood. When enforced correctly, it ensures that every homeowner is held to the same standards for the good of the community. Including council members. Of […]

Fining Procedures – Converting Fine to Assessment (FL)

Many of our clients, both condominium and homeowners’ associations alike, often ask about the proper procedures for issuing and collecting a fine. In our previous blog post titled “Fining Procedures – Issuing a Fine” we discussed how both condominiums and homeowners’ associations properly issue a fine. This blog post will focus on converting a fine […]

Fining Procedures – Converting Fine to Assessment (FL)

Many of our clients, both condominium and homeowners’ associations alike, often ask about the proper procedures for issuing and collecting a fine. In our previous blog post titled “Fining Procedures – Issuing a Fine” we discussed how both condominiums and homeowners’ associations properly issue a fine. This blog post will focus on converting a fine […]

Fining Procedures – Issuing a Fine (FL)

Many of our clients, both condominium and homeowners’ associations alike, often ask about the proper procedures for issuing and collecting a fine. Section 720.305, Florida Statutes, which governs homeowners’ associations, states as follows:   Read the entire article……………………………….

What You Should Know About the Association Non-Compliance Letter

As a member of an HOA, you have a responsibility to occupy, maintain and use the property in accordance with the Rules and Regulations (R&Rs) you agreed to abide by at closing. Although they may seem cumbersome, these rules serve the purpose of increasing property values and preserving homeowner relationships. The success of a community […]

Simpsonville man’s dispute with HOA may lead to jail time (SC)

A homeowner in Simpsonville is facing potential jail time after haggling with his homeowners association about a shed on his property and related court fees for nearly two years.  How Melchior Julien’s dispute with his HOA got to this point is a complicated story that touches on the nature of HOAs, how neighborhood covenants are […]

Enforcing Rules in Your HOA Community

Being a board member isn’t just about overseeing the annual National Night Out event or choosing a new landscape vendor who can upkeep common areas for a fair price. You also have the responsibility of making sure the rules in the association’s governing documents are followed by all members—homeowners, committee members, and board members alike.  […]

Avoiding Defense of Selective Enforcement (FL)

A common defense raised by owners who find themselves on the wrong side of a covenant enforcement action is to allege an association’s failure to enforce the covenant at issue against all violators and instead only selectively enforcing it. The defense of selective enforcement is based upon a case decided by the Supreme Court of […]

The Finer Points of Fining a Unit Owner- Part 1 of 2 (CT)

The Association has the power to fine a unit owner for violating the rules. So, it’s okay to send a note telling them and adding the fine to their account? NO. NO. NO. To quote a phrase from the movie, Mr. Mom, “You’re doing it Wrong”. Doing it wrong can cause a great deal of […]

Part VII: Community Rule Development & Enforcement – Due Process Procedure

In our final segment in our series on Rule Development and Enforcement for Communication Associations, we delve into the importance of implementing a due process procedure when enforcing rules in your community association and taking advantage of some other resources you have available to you.     Read the article…………………

Enforcement of Restrictions on Streets Running Through the Community (CO)

Rarely a week goes by when attorneys do not field calls from board members or managers asking whether or not the association can enforce its rules on streets running through the community. Sometimes these questions have simple answers, and other times, research will need to be conducted to determine the answer.     Read the article……………………