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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Homeowners' association boards ought to enforce the rules fairly

Uniformity is often desired in many California residential communities. Keeping the appearance of the neighborhood consistent often helps owners retain their property values and makes a neighborhood more desirable. When homeowners fail to adhere to the rules regarding the way their properties look, homeowners' association boards may contact them to request that they correct the problem.

Those actions may seem reasonable. Right? It would be if HOA boards enforced the community's rules equally.

Unfortunately, not all do. For instance, a man belonging to an HOA in a neighboring state says his HOA discriminated against him by singling him out for the enforcement of a rule. The community has iron gates on its properties, and when the homeowner was unable to replace his after an incident with a moving truck, the HOA board sent him a notice.

The Arizona man responded by having his attorney write a letter indicating its lack of consistency in enforcing the rule since several of his neighbors also do not have the gates in question. He accused the HOA board of singling him out because he is not Caucasian. It remains to be seen how this man's situation is resolved.

Many California residents may understand his situation. Homeowners' association boards in this state may also engage in "selective enforcement" when it comes to the rules. Community residents who believe they are being discriminated against, especially when it comes to the enforcement of the rules, may benefit from discussing the situation with an attorney who can help determine whether this is, in fact, the situation. A board may have reasons for enforcing the rules in some situations while not in another. The only way to know for sure is by conducting an investigation and gaining a thorough understanding of the community's rules.

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