Enforcing HOA Violations (TN)

As an HOA board member, it is your duty to understand the rules, restrictions, and regulations of the association. Some rules have been in place since the association was created and others may be new additions or amendments to older rules. In any case, it is the responsibility of the HOA board to enforce any […]

Part V: Community Rule Development & Enforcement- Resolutions

Continuing on with our series on Rule Development and Enforcement for Communication Associations, this week we delve into the topic of Resolutions.  There are four basic types of resolutions for a community association:      Read the article…………………

Rule Enforcement Authority of Rules and Regulations made by a Community Association Board (FL)

The Florida Homeowners’ Association Act and the Florida Condominium Act provide a community association’s board of directors with authority to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the association property and its members. The creation and enforcement of an association’s rules and regulations are often areas of uncertainty and doubt for community association board members. Because rule […]

Homeowners Share the Most Ridiculous HOA Rules They’ve Had to Deal With

I don’t live in a real “neighborhood” so I don’t have to deal with homeowners associations, but I have friends who do, and the whole concept is kind of hilarious to me.  I understand everyone wants their streets to look good, but some of these rules are pretty insane. AskReddit users share their personal stories […]

HOA Rules Rule

According to the Community Associations Institute, some 50 million Americans live in homeowner association communities. HOAs are quasi-government entities that are responsible for maintaining services and shared amenities plus collecting the mandatory fees to pay for them. They also have the power to enforce architectural standards and rules, much as a government would. These rules […]

Cease and Desist

If you have been involved as a manager or board member of a community association for any significant period of time-, you have likely come across a difficult owner or tenant who insists on using ineffective communication strategies. Maybe they send you daily or hourly emails demanding information, or post these demands to social media. […]

Kass: The “Ps” of Community Living (Rules Enforcement)

Q. 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 as yelling, arguing and even threatening people. The violators may be unit owners or tenants. […]

Which Rule Rules?

A dustup at the Village Dunes co-op in Montauk highlights the differing standards that may govern the enforceability of decisions made by co-op boards.  This dispute began when a shareholder sought the consent of the co-op board to make alterations to his apartment, including raising the ceiling of the apartment, enclosing an unfinished common area […]

Can Your HOA Regulate Your Holiday Decor?

Fall and winter holidays are perfect for creating an elaborate outdoor scene — whether you’re planning to recreate “Frankenstein” in your front yard, light up the walkways for Diwali or feature Santa Claus and his reindeer on your roof. Regardless of which holiday you prefer to go all out for, the potential to spread extra […]

HOA and condo enforcement: Community associations need to have a plan (FL)

One of the most common questions I get from my condominium and homeowners’ association clients is, “How do we enforce our governing documents against violating homeowners?”  Covenant enforcement is often a huge headache for volunteer boards of directors, and finding a balance between being a nice neighbor and protecting your community’s property values can be […]

Your Cheat Sheet for Creating a Rules Enforcement Policy

Living in a community association comes with certain responsibilities – such as abiding by the founding legal documents, paying assessments, and following the rules and regulations put forth in the declaration, bylaws and resolutions of the Board of Directors. Conversely, it’s the association’s job to establish an enforcement process that is fast and fair to […]

Due Process Debate Impacts Condo Management With New Legal Ruling (IL)

Condo associations in Chicago might soon have a harder time managing difficult condo owners. Based on an Illinois Appellate Court decision, owners accused of unruly behavior cannot be fined without first being given due process. Owners must have the opportunity to review any evidence of the alleged incident and cross-examine witnesses. Illinois condo associations that […]

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 as yelling, arguing and even threatening people. The violators may be unit owners or tenants. […]

Home Day Care in the HOA: What you Need to Know

It’s not uncommon for an association to discover that a day care is operating out of a home. Often, problems arise when neighboring residents complain of noise, excess traffic, or other disruptions. Whether the day care owner discloses their business or its existence is made known to the board by other residents, certain steps should […]

Rules and Regulations: Staying in Your Lane and Avoiding Potential Hazards.

As part of our community association practice I am often asked by clients to review their rules and regulations. While this may seem like a rather simple task, it many times is made more complicated by Board confusion over what they have authority to control through the rules and regulations. Put simply HOA and condominium […]

Ruling Changes How Boards Keep Minutes and Provide Evidence for Violations (IL)

“Business as usual” for Illinois condo boards has now changed. A very big decision by the Illinois appellate court (First District) makes number of Illinois condominium board standard practices illegal. Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association[1] held that a board, in levying fines against a belligerent unit owner who verbally berated and insulted management […]

Kass: Do All HOA Rules Have To Be Enforced?

Question: 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 Board of the Association does not appear to be doing anything about these qualities of […]

Local Governments and Community Associations: Who Enforces Your Regulations?

Your local government (county, city or town) is there to serve. The local government regulates the owners of your association through zoning, taxes them on your real estate and personal property, and provides services such as schools and law enforcement, just for starters. You see the local government at work, providing your community services for […]

Censure: Never Fun, Sometimes Necessary

One of the most important pieces of authority that the HOA Board has in its power is censureship. Censuring may sound a little strange and intimidating, and rightfully so, as it is a very serious matter. What exactly does it mean, and when is it appropriate for a board member to be censured? It’s something […]

Can Community Associations Enforce Parking Restrictions on Public Streets? (FL)

Community association regulation of parking on privately owned streets is common in Florida. Privately owned streets are most commonly found in condominium communities or gated neighborhoods. In those communities, the association’s governing documents dictate what can and cannot be enforced with respect to parking on the streets in the community.  However, community association governing documents […]

Tips for Responding to HOA Code Violations

Violation notices are the least-liked aspect of living in a community with a homeowners’ association.  However, it’s important to remember that violation notices aren’t punitive. The reason rules and regulations are in place is to make your community look great and increase your property value. It can be frustrating to keep track of the many […]

Managing Curb Appeal: Dealing With the Eyesore Next Door

Attractiveness and so-called ‘curb appeal’ are both vital to a building or HOA’s sense of community pride and overall value. After all, it’s hard to attract prospective homebuyers if your association’s grounds are scattered with litter, the flower beds are choked with weeds, and residents constantly have laundry hanging out their windows.  As important as […]

The Fine Line Between Reasonable and Confiscatory Fines (NY)

The Business Judgment Rule is a powerful shield for co-op and condo boards. It precludes the courts from reviewing board actions so long as the board has acted in good faith, within the scope of its authority, and in the best interest of the co-op corporation or the condo association. That’s a broad protection, but […]

Has Your Vehicle Been Towed Out of Your HOA Community? (CA)

Unclear or unenforced parking rules can wreak complete havoc in your HOA community. Many reasons contribute to this: Communities built with poor planning for parking, poor signage or lack of clarity on parking rules, owners NOT using their garage as their primary parking spot as stated in the Governing Documents, owner having more vehicles than […]

Update on the Infamous Open Garage Door Rule

On January 25, 2018, I blogged about an HOA in Auburn, California that passed a rule requiring all of its owners to leave their garage doors open during the day. The goal of the rule was to prevent owners from using their garages as living spaces. The patently overbroad rule—which, in effect, would render residents’ […]

It’s Time to Change the Message (Part 1)

……I’ve seen this reality play out big time in community associations. In the early years of the Community Associations Institute, the emphasis seemed to be on covenants compliance. Boards and managers alike fell into the trap of proficiency and efficiency in enforcing covenants and rules without going deeper. They acted more like technocrats following procedures […]

Can we just enforce the rules we like?

Most board members don’t relish the idea of fining their friends and neighbors for minor infractions of their community’s restrictive covenants. Boards are typically willing to issue fines and citations when an owner has piles of garbage in their front yard, windows and siding falling off the exterior, or nipping dogs running around common areas […]

Associations Must Strictly Comply With Notice Requirements to Impose Fines, Liens (FL)

For homeowners and condominium associations, enforcing their rules can be extremely challenging. Many communities are forced to contend with unit owners who are unruly and disruptive, and associations must be able to effectively bring their rights to bear in order to maintain uniform compliance.  However, Florida’s laws governing the administration of community associations are very […]

The Three Rs In Your Homeowner’s Association

Readin’, ritin’ and rithmatic used to cover what most needed to know, as long as they lived in the “holler”. But homeowner associations have their own version of the Three Rs called Rules, Regulations and Resolutions. These are the policies and procedures that define HOA standards. They must comply with state and federal law. For […]

The Privacy Quandary: Balancing The Obligations Of Associations With The Rights Of Homeowners

Living in a home administered by a condominium association is a unique experience. There are significant benefits to association living, including the ability to defer decisions (and the execution thereof) regarding administration, insurance, repairs, maintenance and other usual owners’ obligations to a professional property manager or board of directors. Conversely, association living requires owners to […]

Fining For Violations-Proper Process is Key (NC)

Our clients often ask us what can be done about homeowners who are clearly violating the Association’s governing documents. Both the North Carolina Planned Community and Condominium Acts (“Acts”) have mirror provisions and procedures for the imposition of fines. Imposing fines often causes a great amount of heartburn for Boards as they are tasked with […]

Condominium Association – When Does a Home Business Become An Issue?

More and more people these days are either telecommuting or engaged in the “gig economy” – freelancing out of their homes. Many of these home businesses are not an issue for the association – but some are. With more owners not wanting to buy in developments that disallow home-based businesses, condominium associations need to address […]

The Three Rs In Your Homeowner’s Association

Readin’, ritin’ and rithmatic used to cover what most needed to know, as long as they lived in the “holler”. But homeowner associations have their own version of the Three Rs called Rules, Regulations and Resolutions. These are the policies and procedures that define HOA standards. They must comply with state and federal law. For […]

Are you off-sides with your association rule enforcement?

Offside in ice hockey is defined as “a play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the offensive zone before the puck, unless the puck is sent or carried there.” Wikipedia  When asked to write an article about association rule enforcement, violations and fines, I was asked to tie the article into […]

Association Rules Enforcement – Pros and Cons of Assessing Fines

Homeowners’ associations generally have rules and regulations – called the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions). Owners in the development agree to abide by these rules when they move in, and also by any additional rules (bylaws). These governing documents generally state what the penalties are for breaking the rules.    Read the article……………..

MI CT OF APP Dismisses Condo Bylaw Enforcement Case After Lawsuit Approval Deemed Improper

As previously discussed in HB 4446 allows Michigan Condominium Associations to enforce restrictions and defend lawsuits, it is not uncommon for developers to insert anti-lawsuit provisions into condominium documents that later have drastic consequences for Michigan condominium associations. In Sawgrass Ridge Condominium Association v Louis J Alarie, et. al., unpublished opinion of the Court of […]

Enforcing Speed Limits in Michigan Condominium and Homeowners Associations

The overwhelming majority of condominium and homeowners associations in Michigan are formed to govern residential developments. Accordingly, many community associations have concerns about residents or guests traveling at excessive speeds throughout the neighborhood. With the growing utilization of common interest communities, more and more associations are seeking to create and enforce their own speed limits […]

Requesting HOA Enforcement Held to be Constitutionally Protected Activity

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or “SLAPP”) is a lawsuit brought to prevent or punish someone for exercising their First Amendment right to speak about public issues or to petition the government. In response to this abuse of the court system, California enacted Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16, known as the “anti-SLAPP” statute. […]

Fourth DCA Invalidates HOA’s Fine for Failing to Provide Proper Notice (FL)

The authority to levy fines is a widely used tool by community associations for rules enforcement. However, if the process is not strictly followed, it can result invalidation of the fine and potential exposure to liability for expensive legal fees.  The procedure for fining a homeowner is mandated by Florida statutes (Fl. Stat. 718.303(3) for […]

When an Out of Home Business Becomes a Problem

There are plenty of restrictions within your condominium associations. You want to control many of the aspects of community living in order to make life safer and more comfortable for all the residents. For many condominium associations, that includes restrictions on the businesses that can be run out of the individual residences. With an increasing […]

HOA Selective Enforcement

Enforcement of the rules and regulations of an HOA can be an intimidating challenge at the best of times. Many of the rules may seem impossible to enforce, and homeowners may often challenge an enforcement that they feel is unwarranted or unfairly implemented. In some cases, a resident may plead “selective enforcement” in a court. […]

Home Business in your Association (TX)

With improved technologies and the ability to work from anywhere in the world, more and more neighborhoods are finding residents who work from home. From business professionals who work from home one or two days a week, to small business owners running companies from their living rooms. It is apparent that working from home has […]

Enforcement: Might a Local Ordinance Help Your Community Association?

What can an HOA or condominium association do when activity is occurring within the community that appears to be objectionable, but which is not specifically addressed in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or other association governing documents? The clear answer, if the association wants enforcement power, is to amend the governing documents by […]

The Complete Story of the River Oaks Tank

The tactical withdrawal of Tony Buzbee’s World War II-era Sherman M4A4 tank earlier this month brought the month-long Battle of River Oaks Boulevard to a close.  After Buzbee—a trial lawyer, Marine veteran, and proud Aggie alum (and current A&M regent)—parked the fully operational tank on the street in front of his home on Houston’s swankiest […]