What Rules are Columbus HOAs Allowed to Enforce?

What Rules are Columbus HOAs Allowed to Enforce?In Order for a Columbus Neighborhood HOA to Enforce a Rule it Needs to Meet Four Standards

There Needs to Be Consistency in the Enforcement

If an HOA rule is going to be valid it needs to be enforced for every homeowner in the neighborhood that is in violation. Every homeowner needs to be held to the exact identical standards to make HOA rules consistent and fair. This means that the board is not able to target one homeowner in the neighborhood for a rule violation while overlooking another homeowner in violation of the same rule. All rules need to be enforced without discrimination or favoritism.

Rules need to be reasonable/attainable

In some cases, people serving on HOA boards can become somewhat power-hungry and begin to make several rules about seemingly everything. Some of these rules can seem to be arbitrary or unrealistic. For an HOA to be able to create a role it needs to be reasonable and attainable for homeowners to follow. This requirement is a bit subjective but it is a requirement. For example, if the community has parking spaces set aside for guests of homeowners in the neighborhood when they are visiting and the HOA says homeowners are unable to use the spaces that is a reasonable request. But if they amend this rule to say no one is allowed to use these spaces the rule becomes unreasonable as the spaces are labeled guest parking.

The rule needs to be stated within the HOA governing documents

For a rule to be valid within a neighborhood and enforceable through the HOA it must be documented within the bylaws. It needs to be properly adopted into the bylaws according to procedures that have been laid out in the HOA governing documents. Almost 100% of the time this includes notice to all homeowners and the opportunity for comment and opinion about making something a new rule before it officially becomes so and is written within the governing documents.

The manner in which the homeowner association can enforce a rule must also be written within the governing documents as well. For example, if a homeowner builds a fence around their yard and it is not within the acceptable parameters of the bylaws and the bylaws state that a daily fine is to be given to the homeowner until they fix the fence in compliance with the bylaws then that is how the rule must be enforced. A board member cannot come and request that the homeowner take the fence down that very moment under their watch.

Rules need to be within compliance of state and federal laws

Rules within neighborhoods that have homeowners associations cannot go against state or federal laws. You may be surprised to learn that there are specific laws that pertain to homeowners associations. A homeowners association must also be within the rules and laws of the Fair Housing Act.  Any rule within a homeowners association that goes against state and federal laws is unenforceable and could also come subject to legal ramifications. It gives a homeowner a right to stand up against it under the higher laws of the land and make her case in a court of law.

Before purchasing a home in Columbus with a homeowners association it is always best to read through all of the CC and Rs which stands for covenant codes and restrictions. You want to make sure that you know all of the information about the homeowner association including what is expected from the homeowners in the neighborhood and what the process is for enforcing or changing rules. It is also good to make sure you know every detail about homeowner association dues and the process of buying and selling homes in the neighborhood.

If you are looking to purchase a home in Columbus or surrounding areas please contact me. I am highly knowledgeable in Columbus real estate and make it my duty to find you a Columbus home you'll love with as little stress as possible.

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