More and more, residents who are a part of common-interest-developments come asking about their rights and remedies available to them when their homeowner’s association amends their declaration.
Homeowner’s associations are organizations in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties in its jurisdictions.
The declaration is the legal document that lays out the guidelines and rules of a planned community. These declarations’ can address how high you can build a wall, how much property owners will be assessed for the benefit of the community, and other rules of the community. Declarations are not set in stone but can instead be amended. Often times, amendments anger residents because they tend to alter the key terms that made their residence appealing in the first place. Sometimes the amendments can seem so drastic that they turn the original agreement into something completely different from what a homeowner initially agreed.
So how can a homeowner oppose an amendment that was passed by the other homeowners or by the board of directors?
Since 2013, there have been prominent cases including, Armstrong v. The Ledges Homeowners Association and Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council Inc. v. Emerson, which held that amendments must be reasonable in light of the original intent of the parties when they agreed to the declaration as well as the character of the community.
Both cases dealt with assessments, but the reasonableness test set out in the cases can be applied to any amendment to a common-interest-development’s declaration.
If you feel that an amendment to your homeowner’s declaration is unreasonable, come to the King Law Offices to discuss the facts and circumstances of your claim.