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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Can homeowners' association boards risk your safety and property?

Many of California's residential communities come with attractive amenities, but at a price. Homeowners in these communities pay dues to their homeowners' association boards, but that may not be the worst part. Some HOA boards may attempt to impose unrealistic requirements on those who live in the neighborhood that could potentially put the safety and property of residents at risk.

For instance, an HOA in one out-of-state neighborhood told its residents that they would incur a $200 fine if they failed to leave their garage doors open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. In addition to the fine, offending residents could also face an administrative hearing. Apparently, this new rule was instituted because one family allowed some people to live in its garage, and the board thinks this will solve the problem.

Many of the residents dislike the new rule, but some are complying anyway in order to avoid the fine. Others, however, refuse to comply for fear of burglaries. Many of the residents of the California community intend to be at the next HOA meeting in order to discuss the rule.

It may be helpful for those residents to thoroughly review their HOA rules, regulations and CC&Rs to determine whether the board's action is allowed. In some cases, homeowners' association boards go beyond the their limits when it comes to instituting or enforcing rules. It may also be a good idea to consult with an attorney to obtain an understanding of the legal rights and responsibilities of both the members and the board before the next meeting.

Source:, "Auburn Community Upset after HOA Tells Them to Leave Garage Doors Open", Ken Mashinchi, Jan. 5, 2018

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