Many homes in California are part of homeowners associations. One homeowner in Phoenix is suing after a property manager stated that the association had changed its rules to prohibit children under the age of 16 from living in the neighborhood. The plaintiff was renting his unit to a family with two children.
Many homeowners in California live in communities with a homeowners association. When they purchased their properties, whether a condominium in a building or a free-standing house in a town, the deed was accompanied by CC&Rs, or covenants, conditions and restrictions. These neighborhood covenants include procedures for dealing with identified violations of the CC&Rs, and they also provide procedures for seeking variances or exemptions from their provisions. While homeowners associations have a right to enforce these covenants, they are not landlords; they cannot evict homeowners, steal their personal property or violate their rights.
A 71-year-old man in La Costa has received notice from his homeowners association that his signs protesting immigration policies violate the community's codes, covenants and rules. He disputes the allegation that he broke any rules with the printed signs that measure about 30 inches across. They are taped on the inside of his front windows.
California residents may understand what it feels like to be in a dispute with a neighbor. However, a recent episode in Wyoming shows how disputes can turn into major legal issues. The Cody Ranchettes Homeowners' Association, which is in Powell, Wyo., asked a judge to compel a couple who lives in the HOA to conform with rules regarding exterior house colors. In its complaint, the HOA claims that the home has been painted in four different colors when association rules say that only one color is allowed on the walls and one on the trim.
When you are shopping for a new home in Southern California, you have many options, including single-family dwellings, condominiums and townhouses. Some of these may include membership in a homeowners association.
Some homeowners associations in California are well known to micromanage property owners. The four-year legal battle between a man and a Virginia HOA illustrates this issue. His lawsuit is scheduled for trial as he defies the association's demand that he mow his meadow. He maintains that the 2 acres at the rear of his 5.6 acre parcel serve as habitat for native plants and animals. The HOA has repeatedly ordered him to mow the area.