Homeowners associations (HOAs), generally speaking, are organizations that genuinely care about the welfare of the communities they serve. They ensure the financial stability of the residents there, and they also work to foster a sense of community and uniformity among residents, as well as strong neighborhood bonds.
However, there can come times where, due to the power vested in them, certain HOAs can overstep their bounds and infringe on the legal rights of their residents. Aside from this being against the law, for the average homeowner, an oppressive HOA can become quite the headache, necessitating the services of a real estate lawyer.
But what, exactly, is within an HOA’s boundaries to do? JD Haas, a firm of civil lawyers and real estate lawyers with years of experience working with both HOAs and homeowners alike, discusses below when homeowners might have a case against their HOAs.
HOAs, Like Everyone Else, Are Subject to Federal Laws
HOAs have certain degrees of power over their residents given to them under both federal law and state law. However, certain federal laws greatly restrict the operations of these organizations. These laws include:
● The Fair Housing Act. This law, enacted in the year 1968, makes it illegal to deny a person housing or interfere with their ability to get said housing on the basis of color, race, or national origin. Later clauses were added to cover disability, sex, and familial status. All HOAs are subject to this law, which has been resolved in court. In particular, be aware of Section 804 of this law, which requires HOAs to provide reasonable accommodations to their policies for people with disabilities.
● The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Passed in 1977, the FDCPA prevents any collector from using aggressive or unfair tactics to collect debt. Whether HOAs are debt collectors is debatable, but many states do consider them so, as the fees are a required payment by the organization. Under this law, debt collectors are prohibited from publishing a list of those in debt, and also from directly contacting the consumer about their debt if they have knowledge that the consumer is represented by an attorney.
● The Over-The-Air Reception Devices Rule. Under federal law, an HOA cannot impose unreasonable restrictions on a consumer’s installation of antenna or satellite dishes. It might seem like an inconsequential law, but some HOAs are not fans of anything that might make your house look different from the others surrounding it.
HOA Giving you a Headache? Contact JD Haas, a Civil Lawyer Near You
We’re a team of civil lawyers, business lawyers, and injury lawyers with a client-focused approach, and we’d be privileged to represent you in your fight for your legal rights. You can reach our Bloomington office at 952-345-1025.