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Can an HOA foreclose on property owners for working from home?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2020 | Firm News, Real Estate Disputes |

Homeowners associations (HOA) can have some interesting requirements. From the color of exterior paint to length of grass, homeowners likely expect some requirements while others may come as a surprise. Whether known or not, further problems can develop if an HOA board decides to push provisions beyond their original intention.

A recent case provides an example of a provision that was likely meant to curtail dubious employment within the community that is likely being stretched beyond its original intention.

Just how much power do HOAs have?

The power of an HOA is generally guided by the organization’s charter and bylaws. If a provision speaks to the issue, it will likely guide the decision — as long as it falls within the bounds of state and federal law.

In this case, the HOA pointed to a provision within its bylaws that stated commercial businesses were not to be “maintained or transacted on any Lot or in any residential unit” within the HOA. Due to a supposed violation, the HOA stated it would foreclose upon over twenty different property owners and tenants within the community.

Can they really do that?

An attempt by the HOA to follow through on such actions would likely result in a variety of issues. If looking to evict tenants, the question of whether or not the notice provides the proper opportunity for a tenant to address the problem will likely arise. If the alleged offender is a homeowner, other issues abound.

It is also important to note that this attempt is current, meaning the HOA is attempting to evict dozens of owners and tenants in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is very likely such a move on the grounds noted above would face scrutiny from local authorities.