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Resolving fair housing paradoxes

A California homeowners association is generally subject to both federal and state Fair Housing Laws. This means that children cannot be banned from an HOA or given restrictions that don't apply to adults. However, senior communities are typically exempt from these laws. While familial discrimination is largely forbidden by such laws, there may be a loophole in California's state provision.

According to the law, apartments and HOAs in the state must have signs forbidding children under the age of 14 from using pools without adult supervision. Spas must also post similar signs. Therefore, there is a paradox in which an HOA could be exposing itself to liability by not posting the sign or exposing itself to a lawsuit by enforcing the rule.

Court opinions have noted that not all children under the age of 14 who use a pool do so in a dangerous manner. The question is determining at what age a child can safely use a pool without an enhanced risk of injury or death. It is also relevant to consider safety concerns in gyms or weight rooms where the use of equipment by children could be dangerous. For now, the best way to approach these dilemmas may be to consult an attorney.

Those who are involved in an HOA dispute may have several options available to resolve the conflict. One option may be to consult with an attorney to learn more about how the law treats the issue in question. However, it may also be a good idea to work with the neighbor or others within the HOA to resolve the matter outside of court. Doing so may save time and money while preserving relationships for the future.

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