Rules are sets of laws, enactments, guidance, or codes agreed upon by certain groups of persons, unions, communities, towns, states, regions, provinces, organizations, etc. The essence of making rules is to guide the people and give them a sense of decency in whatever they do.
Rules come with their clauses as well as penalties attached to them. The reason for attaching penalties to rules is not basically to punish people, it’s just a way of making people do the right thing at the right time.
Where there are no rules everyone will just live, the way they want and this will end up causing chaos in the environment.
What are Unenforceable HOA Rules?
It is good that an HOA creates the rules that will help them maintain peace in the environment, but it should be noted that there are powers and things that must be done in certain ways, and if they are not done accordingly, it may make them illegal in the eyes of the law and can be termed unenforceable rules.
It doesn’t change when it comes to HOA rules, if they are not done according to certain standards, they will not hold water, but if they are done the way they should be, then it would be legal and not be termed unenforceable rules or laws.
When creating rules for the HOA, it is very good to put certain things into consideration to get it right to avoid certain errors and mistakes.
You would need to review the laws of the country referred to as federal laws. It is important to have critical look at them and consult a legal practitioner(s) to look critically at them before enacting your HOA rules.
This would definitely help the HOA not to collide with what is termed “federal might”. When it comes to issues of federal powers, it supersedes every other law or power in the land.
If a rule of an HOA is not in line with the federal law, someone from the HOA can easily appeal in a law court and the HOA rule would become unenforceable.
Unenforceable HOA Rules
Unenforceable in an HOA are:
1. Restrictions to Freedom of Speech
Every federal law supports the right to freedom of speech because it is one of the fundamental rights of every human being, if an HOA does not give people the opportunity to express themselves in every case, then such a rule is unenforceable.
2. Restrictions to Religious Activities
No one should be forced to belong to a particular religious group or restricted to practice their religion anywhere they are. This is unacceptable anywhere in the world.
An HOA cannot bring up rules that are against religious practices or force people to belong to a certain religion, if this happened such a rule would be unenforceable.
No wonder they say that if you want to legally annoy your HOA, religious practices are one of the best ways to do that. They cannot even stop you from putting up religious symbols.
3. Right to Bear Arms
In most places, the federal laws support and give rights to its citizen to bear and use arms legally. An HOA cannot make a rule that will restrict its residents from bearing arms. This is simply because as citizens of that particular country, they are already legally empowered to bear arms.
4. Inconsistent, Arbitrary, or Conspicuous Enforcement
If an HOA uses a wrong way to enforce laws or makes rules that are wrongful in the sight of the law or just to punish a particular individual or a set of person(s), then it is termed unenforceable because in the sight of the law, they are inconsistent, arbitrary and conspicuous in nature and such would not hold grounds anywhere.
And if the said homeowner has enough evidence and a good attorney, he/she can sue the HOA and win.
5. Violation of Homeowners Right
There are certain rights and privileges given to homeowners in every HOA which should not be trampled on. This is to say that no HOA should make a rule that is against these privileges. If such is done then the federal law would rule over such HOA rule, despite the intention for enacting such rule.
6. Procedurally Flawed Enactments
Every rule has a procedure it must follow before it can be enacted and become enforceable. If an HOA does anything against this and uses another way to enact any form of the rule on its residents, then such a rule will become unenforceable because they were enacted not following the procedure and violated some constitutional rights of individuals.
7. Sexual Orientation
The HOA can never make a rule that will deny housing to someone or access t0 the facilities in the community because of the sexual orientation of such person.
This is because the US Department of Housing and Urban Development promotes an equal access rule that prevents HOAs ensured by the Fair Housing Act from discriminating against homeowners based on their sexual orientation and even gender identity.
Therefore, being gay or transgender will not stop you from enjoying the rights other homeowners in the community are enjoying as well.
8. Marital Status
Just like sexual orientation, an HOA cannot deny housing or access to the facilities in the community because of your marital status.
This is to say that, for those in the United States, where LGBTQ has been legally accepted, two married men cannot be denied housing just because of their marriage.
Such a rule is unenforceable because of the equal access rule championed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If one is discriminated against like this, the person can even file a lawsuit against such HOA and will win. As long as the couple has enough evidence to back up their claims.
9. Installation of Ramps for the Disables
Even if HOA bans every other homeowner in the community from installing ramps, such a rule is unenforceable where homeowners with disabilities or with disabled persons are.
This is because the law has mandated the association to allow people living with disabilities to make modifications to their homes if need be.
As long as the ramp is in conformity with the building code of the state/locality, the HOA cannot do anything about it.
10. Installation of Satellite Dish
The FCC has approved and allowed every homeowner to install satellite dishes over their roof. These dish helps you to receive video or wireless signals in your home.
Therefore, HOA cannot prohibit you or make laws that can prohibit you from installing a satellite dish over your roof. When this is done, you can file a lawsuit against the said HOA.
These are some of the HOA rules that can be termed unenforceable in nature.
It is good to have a good rule that can be dully and properly enforced as an HOA. Before you enact some rules in your HOA, it is important that due consultations and careful deliberations are made. And in doing so, you must involve some legal experts and analysts to guide you on what rules can be enforceable and those that are not enforceable. This is very important to everyone or any HOA that is trying to map out certain laws and rules.