Legal Rights for Condo Owners
HOAs have considerable control when it comes to the governance of the community. This control extends to things such as addition or maintenance projects, changes to the exteriors of properties, execution of property rules and regulations, and even parking of individual residents. There are, however, certain areas in which condo owners retain legal rights. State, local, and national laws all have higher importance over the governing documents and should always be considered. Below is a list of rights that HOAs should always keep in mind when interacting with residents.
Notice of Possible Disciplinary Action
All condo owners have the right to be notified of any violations of the rules and regulations of the association prior to the administration of any disciplinary actions or fines.
Modification of Property for Disabled Persons
Residents have the right to modify the property to make it accessible to disabled persons even if the modifications would otherwise violate a regulation set out by the CC&Rs.
Before a fine or other punishment is administered for the violation of a rule or regulation, the resident has the right to appeal the case in a disciplinary hearing.
Flying the United States Flag
All residents have the right to display the United States flag on their property. This right does not extend to other public or common areas such as the pool. The HOA reserves the right to limit the location, method of display, and even material of the flag.
Installation of Satellites, Antennas, or Solar Panels
Condo owners reserve the right to install satellites, antennas, or solar panels on their property with some restrictions relating to placement. Owners of solar panels may by asked to remove them for a time in the event of roof repair or replacement.
Election to the Board
Assuming that the resident is not in violation of the governing documents, each resident has the right to run for and be elected onto the board.
Protesting New Ordinances
Among the legal rights for condo owners is the right to protest changes, vote for or against changes, and apply to the board for permission to perform an action that would normally be against the regulations.
Full Disclosure of Regulations and Association Finances
Homeowners have the right to access the budget and finances of the association as well as a yearly disclosure of any changes in rules. All owners also have the right to information regarding upcoming board meetings, meeting minutes, and insurance information, among other things. In addition, residents are allowed to have access to the information of their neighbors within the association.
Legal Action Against the HOA
Condo owners have the right to take legal action against the HOA or neighbors by way of mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
It is important to remember that, in addition to the above list which covers many of the legal rights of condo owners, there are numerous other things that homeowners can do without violating the CC&Rs. However, the list is a good summary of the main rights that are usually encountered by HOAs.