Creating a welcoming community and maintaining the home values for residents falls on the shoulders of the HOA. In order to do just that, HOAs must create and enforce rules and regulations, but which rules are enforceable and unenforceable?
Unenforceable HOA Rules:
- Anything that Violates Rights and Laws
Federal laws, state laws, and constitutional rights should be adhered to at all times, and if your association’s Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) impede those laws and rights, they will be unenforceable. Be sure that your rules and regulations don’t hinder freedom of speech, allow discrimination, impede rights to bear arms, and protect’s religious freedoms. Stay up to date on the latest state and federal laws, and update your rules and regulations to meet those changes and needs.
- Rules That Are Created Incorrectly
HOAs must follow the proper enactment procedure within the state laws and governing documents. If your HOA creates a rule or changes one without following the guidelines that are outlined in their documents and in state laws, the rules cannot be enforced until they have met those requirements.
- Enforcing Rules Inconsistently or With No Authority
If your HOA plans to enforce rules, you will need to do so consistently and follow the proper procedures to a T. When the procedures are not followed or are followed inconsistently, homeowners can challenge the rule. It’s also important that rules are applied to all homeowners and that all rules are enforced. Being selective about enforcement can also make HOA rules unenforceable.
Recommendations for Enforceable HOA Rules:
- Rules Benefit the Community
The rules your association outlines should not only be enforceable, but good for the community. Enact fair and reasonable regulations that are easy to follow, understandable, and purposeful.
- Contain Clear Language
If a rule or regulation uses vague language, misunderstandings are sure to follow, and it can make the rule unenforceable. Be as clear and direct as you can be.
If you need help creating enforceable HOA rules, contact Prism Realty Management. Give us a call at 512-676-5842 — we’d be happy to talk to you about who we are, the services we offer, and our process.