Federal law protects certain classes of people from discrimination. It does not matter whether the individual is in the workplace or applying for housing, those individuals covered by federal and/or California law may not be discriminated against. What about the people who are not part of any of those groups? Could homeowners' association boards ban certain people from living in their communities as long as they are not part of a protected group?
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.
Many California residents like to think that there is some semblance of democracy when living in a residential community. The homeowners elect the HOA board, which then enforces the community's laws. However, as is the case with any governing body, the newly elected officials sometimes attempt to reverse or otherwise override the decisions of the prior board.
When it comes time to sell a home in a California residential community, a seller may have quite a journey ahead. Preparing the home for sale and finding a buyer may seem like the most challenging part of the process, but one task may prove more problematic. Homeowners' association boards may prevent a sale if they fail to provide the seller with certification.
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.
Power often goes to people's heads. Even when that power only comes from being members of homeowners' association boards, some residents in California communities believe they are no longer subject to the rules, bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions set forth for a particular community. When this happens, it may be up to residents to set things right again, which may require litigation.
Many of California's residential communities come with restrictions when it comes to the outward appearance of their homes. For instance, homeowners' association boards may enforce rules regarding keeping the grass cut, cars out of the yard and the trees trimmed. These may seem like reasonable expectations in order to keep the neighborhood looking well maintained, but sometimes, HOA boards can go too far.
Providing services and enforcing the covenants, conditions and restrictions, along with other rules, of a California residential community could take a toll on those responsible. Homeowners' association boards make numerous decisions regarding the communities they serve, but not all of those decisions work out as planned. In some cases, a board may fall victim to someone, and rectifying the situation may require involving the civil courts, or even the criminal courts in some instances.
Safety is a major concern for most California parents. Back on Feb. 27, this blog discussed the case of a teenager who suffered devastating and permanent injuries on a swing set in the common area of his HOA-run residential community ("Can HOA members trust the board to keep common areas safe?"). The question of whether homeowners' association boards can keep the common areas of a community safe bears further discussion since the HOA, and possibly the board's individual members, could end up facing litigation.
One of the most unenviable jobs for any California business is collecting overdue debts. Homeowners' association boards are not immune to this task. Without the funds from homeowners' dues and assessments, boards cannot operate. This means that they will need to have a plan in place for collecting monies from homeowners who fail to meet their financial obligations to the HOA.