Recognizing When an HOA Oversteps its Legal Bounds

A homeowner’s association is responsible for making the rules that keep a community safe. It is also responsible for enforcing the rules if residents break them. HOAs establish guidelines that determine everything from parking rules to pet types to the acceptable paint colors for homes.

Part of keeping the community safe is purchasing HOA Insurance that covers damages to common areas of the property, as well as lawsuits and injury claims. The association pays for the insurance policy with the fees collected from residents of the community.

While HOA’s have many benefits, they can, at times, overstep their bounds. It’s important to understand the rules of the HOA as well as state and federal laws to ensure that the board is acting appropriately.

Why You Should Be Aware of What Your HOA Can and Can’t Do

Violating the rules of the HOA can result in fines for the resident. Repeated fines that go ignored may be enough cause for the HOA to impose a lien on the violator’s home. Every member of the community must understand the rules, so they can remain in compliance and know when they have the right to take action against the HOA.

The board members need to research and purchase the HOA Insurance that the community needs. The right type and amount of coverage protects against financial loss from many causes of property damage and even lawsuits.

What to Do If HOA Abuse Happens

Address any abuse of the HOA laws and rules. Adherence to them is essential for a smoothly running and peaceful community. If a violation happens, the resident must speak with the board members to learn more and verify that it is valid.

Some common abuses from HOAs include giving out fines without cause or issuing fines inconsistently to enforce the rules with only certain residents. If this happens, the resident may choose to appeal the fine or even find a real estate lawyer to take action against the HOA.

It is against the law for an HOA to act against the following federal laws:

  • The Fair Housing Act disallows discrimination due to color, race, disability, sex, national origin, or family status.
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prevents certain aggressive debt collection tactics. The HOA cannot publish a list of residents that owe fees. They also must communicate only through the resident’s attorney if they have legal representation.
  • The Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule prevents the HOA from restricting residents from installing a satellite dish or antenna.

All HOAs have limited authority. If community members suspect abuse of that authority, they should report it immediately.

When run correctly, HOAs give residents many perks and additional safety measures that they otherwise may not have access to. The key to a successful HOA is clear communication and maintaining the same standards for all residents of the community.

About Kevin Davis Insurance Services

For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (855)-790-7393 to speak with one of our representatives.