Your homeowners association may be frustrating to deal with, especially if it has many different rules and regulations that you need to follow. While HOAs are helpful in maintaining a general look to a neighborhood or working with properties to keep their values, not all HOAs are reasonable or respectful to those in them.
There is a reason why some people vow never to live where there is an HOA, and that’s because board members could potentially go off on a so-called “power trip” and make restrictions that others feel are unfair or unreasonable.
Fortunately, there are some rules that they can’t legally enforce. There are both state and federal laws that influence what an HOA can or cannot do.
Your HOA can’t discriminate
The first thing to look at is how an HOA addresses different people from varied backgrounds. HOAs are not legally allowed to discriminate in a way that singles out or disadvantages a group that would be found in the Fair Housing Act. For example, just because the HOA doesn’t like one resident’s religion doesn’t mean they can kick them out or prevent them from moving in.
Your HOA can’t make sudden decisions not in your HOA rules
A board member may suddenly decide that they don’t like certain dog breeds in the community, but if there is no specific mention of a restriction in the HOA’s rules, that opinion doesn’t hold much weight. There are rules in place that dictate how changes to HOA rules have to happen, so you would have a right to complain if someone tried to change the rules on you without changing them for everyone.
HOAs can make your life difficult, but you have legal protections
Even if you get into a fight with the HOA, you have the right to take them to court. While you may have to go through a hearing before the board first, you can still take your complaints to the actual court system if you truly feel that you’re being treated unfairly. That’s something that could help you if the HOA goes overboard and you have no other options.