Homeowners associations provide some valuable benefits like landscaped common areas, community pools, and security patrols, but they also have a terrible reputation for telling residents what they can and can’t do in their own homes.
While some of the rules an HOA may have on the books may sound slightly annoying, others can seem completely and absolutely ridiculous. A thread on Reddit revealed a strange rule that seemed completely off-the-wall at first glance:
“In my neighborhood, we are not allowed to have blue trampoline covers. They must be green or black.”
What’s interesting about this rule is that it wasn’t put in place because some people didn’t like the color blue.
On the contrary, research suggests that birds often mistake large blue surfaces (like pool covers, trampoline covers, and blue turf grass) for water and dive, head-first into them. Avoiding blue trampoline covers is a rule meant to reduce bird deaths.
However, not every HOA rule seems meant to save the birds or truly help the residents live in a safe, clean, and enjoyable neighborhood. Another poster on that Reddit thread shared the following:
“They tried to make me get approval for two small potted plants by my front door.”
The homeowner shared that they took the HOA to court over the fines and collection activity that resulted from a neighbor’s demand that the homeowner obtain approval before placing the potted plants on a front doorstep. The homeowner won the court case and actually got the management company fired and two of the HOA board members expelled.
If you’re thinking about moving into a neighborhood with an HOA, will you have any legal recourse if the association employs rules like “all garage doors must be open during the day” or “dogs must be carried at all times when passing through the lobby” or any of the other strange rules shared by frustrated homeowners?
In fact, it may come down to the state in which you live. A helpful article on realtor.com shares:
“Nineteen states have put laws on the books to prohibit a funny HOA restriction: your right to “solar drying.” (That’s a fancy-schmancy word for using a clothesline.)
This time-honored tradition saves money and protects your clothes, but to your eagle-eyed HOA board, all those fabrics blowing in the breeze may not look “uniform.”
What’s important for you to remember, as a homeowner, is that an HOA can come up with any rules they want, but they may not be able to enforce them under the laws of the state in which you live. Also, an HOA can actually place a lien on your property in some circumstances.
Legal website Nolo shares:
“If you break a rule and end up in a dispute with the HOA, do you have any grounds to argue? Provided the HOA is acting within its enforcement powers and has followed the correct procedures, it’s not likely.”
Conducting some research into the laws that guide HOAs in Illinois can help you figure out whether you have a legal argument brewing with your current HOA or whether any of the rules designed by your future HOA are likely to give you any headaches. A conversation with a lawyer can also help you avoid any unnecessary legal battles.
Do You Have Questions About the Rules of your HOA?
Are you considering a home purchase? Do you have questions the HOA rules or anything else about the home-buying process? Would you like assistance from an experienced real estate lawyer? Contact Suburban Legal Group for more information.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Suburban Legal Group PC shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.