Association rules and homeowners

Contributing Columnist

What kinds of restrictions do Associations place on the homeowner and are there exceptions to the rules?

Answer: Restrictions are inevitable in communities that share common areas.  You should be aware of these restrictions and evaluate them in terms of your own lifestyle. Since rules vary from community to community, it is possible to find a neighborhood that can accommodate most of your needs. Depending on the Association, restrictions may include: no owners or renters under age 55, no parking of RV’s, trucks or boats on the property, no pets or pet restrictions on number and weight, and how often and for how long a property may be rented out or used by guests. These are the most common questions and often they are included in Association By-Laws which buyers would review prior to purchase.

  Other “rules” may also govern what an owner may or may not do in terms of modification to the physical exterior of their unit, including changing the landscape.  There is also conduct specified in common recreation areas, including noise levels, flags, banners, open house signage, or garage sales.

Exemptions can be made to both By Laws and Rules through the Association’s Board of Directors. The leading issues are requests for Associations to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowing disabled residents to have service animals and parking privileges usually not extended to the general population. Other non-ADA exemptions are generally on a case by case basis and may require a legal opinion in order to accommodate.

In most cases, buyers in a COA or HOA will need to be approved by the Association. Your Realtor can direct you to the proper application. This needs to be undertaken early in the purchase process as Associations have the right to deny occupancy if approval is a requirement.  Usually there is a fee connected with the application process; there could also be a background check and an interview.

Sheldon Paley, a resident of Longboat Key for 20 years and a realtor for 13 years, is affiliated with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Prior to moving to Longboat Key, Paley attended Ohio State University; U of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry and Harvard Medical School for 18 months for a degree in Implantation.

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1 Response for “Association rules and homeowners”

  1. Bob Driscoll says:

    Does it sound like America or North Korea above ? NOT ALL common area-sharing communities have binding restrictions. Ontario & UK have a fundamental difference from many/most? US states in legal treatment of affirmative or positive covenants: WITHOUT an unbroken express chain of contracted promises on title (eg to pay/comply/pass along such), so-called positive or affirmative covenants DO NOT BIND the land owner successors to promise-makers. Without statutory condo status or direct corporate ownership or provable unjust enrichment, most Ontario HOAs have zero legal jurisdiction ZILCH. I live in one via tenancy in common appurtenanced onto end user titles. Lots less oppression but co-owners can sue successfully for unjust enrichment.

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