Homeowners’ Rights in an HOA

A home in a Florida HOA.

Homeowners who live in an HOA have many rights, though some may not be familiar with all of them. Whether you are on the HOA board or you are simply a member of an HOA, it’s important to know what these rights are. That way, you can advocate to make sure that everyone has them and avoid conflict over what is and is not a right.

Changing Rules and Regs

Homeowners can work to change any rules and regulations in their HOA that they do not like. The community’s governing documents should discuss how to do this, and the process may be different in different communities.

Usually, homeowners have to get the community to vote on any new rules or changes to existing rules. The process for doing this may vary. Note that all new rules will also need to be compliant with existing state and local laws. Similarly, if laws change so that existing rules are no longer legal, the HOA will have to change those quickly.

Document Access

Homeowners should always have access to a set of documents. They need to be able to look at any rules and regulations that concern them, for instance, such as governing documents and more.

They also need to be able to have access to any documents pertinent to the finances of their HOA. This includes the budget and related documents, but also includes minutes of any HOA meetings, vendor contracts, plans for capital improvement, and more.

Finally, homeowners need to have easy access to any documents pertinent to them. If they have been fined or have received disciplinary letters, they need to be able to get copies of these quickly and easily.

The American Flag

Homeowners can always display the flag of the United States of America. No HOA can outlaw this, even if they want to do so for reasons of architectural control.

They can, however, determine many factors about how the flag is flown. The HOA can limit the height of a flagpole, for instance, or where it is located on the property. They can also require homeowners to submit a request before they install a flagpole on their property.

No Discrimination

HOAs are not allowed to discriminate against homeowners, period. They cannot discriminate for reasons of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, familial status, or for any other reason.

This means that HOAs must enforce their rules fairly and that the rules need to apply in the same way to everyone. They also cannot deny anyone the right to purchase a home in the community, nor can they take action based on judgements that are discriminatory.

Legal Rights

Homeowners have a number of other legal rights, too, like the right to question HOA fees and/or special assessments, the right to have disciplinary hearings, the right to reasonable accommodations if they have a disability, the right to solar panel installations on their roofs, and, in some locations, the right to dry clothes in the sun if they so desire.

If you’re not sure what rights the homeowners in your community should have or you need some help navigating these issues, call us at Advanced Management Inc today.

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