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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Homeowners' association boards can't discriminate

It may be difficult for some California residents to believe that discrimination continues to be a problem in today's society. Even so, many people discover the hard way that people continue to judge others based on things such as gender, race and religion. Some homeowners' association boards attempt to discriminate against prospective or current homeowners in violation of state and federal law as well.

For example, homeowners in an East Coast state claim that the HOA board is discriminating against them based on their religion. They claim that the board members decided to add new bylaws designed to make life uncomfortable for the Hasidic Jews already living in the community and to make it difficult for anyone else with their religious affiliation from purchasing property there. Moreover, they say that the board is encouraging a campaign of intimidation and harassment.

One homeowner says community members threw eggs at his home. Another individual claims that nails were left in his driveway to flatten the tires on his vehicle. The affected homeowners say that most of the people in their New York community are supportive and friendly. It is the board and a group of others who appear to have an issue. This may be why the federal lawsuit recently filed by the homeowners who say they are being discriminated against is filed against the members of the board personally, not just the HOA itself.

California and federal law prohibit housing discrimination by anyone, including homeowners' association boards. Any prospective or current homeowner who believes the HOA board in his or her community is not treating them fairly based on some protected status may also feel it necessary to initiate litigation to correct the problem. Before doing so, it may be a good idea to discuss the situation with an attorney.

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