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Do Local Laws Supersede HOA Rules? A Guide from an Experienced HOA Attorney

LS Carlson Law May 1st, 2023

As experienced HOA attorneys, we often receive questions from homeowners regarding the hierarchy of laws that govern their community. Specifically, homeowners often ask whether local laws supersede the rules and regulations set forth by their homeowner association (HOA).

The short answer is yes, local laws do supersede HOA rules. However, it's important to understand the nuances of this issue to fully grasp how to proceed if you believe your HOA has overstepped its bounds.

First and foremost, it's essential to note that homeowner associations are private organizations that are generally subject to state laws governing non-profit corporations. These laws dictate the procedures for creating and operating an HOA, as well as the rights and responsibilities of HOA members.

However, in addition to these state laws, HOAs also typically have their own rules and regulations that govern community behavior. These rules are outlined in a document known as the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), which is provided to homeowners upon purchase of their property.

While HOA rules and regulations can be an effective means of ensuring community cohesion and maintaining property values, they must also comply with local laws. In other words, HOA rules cannot override state or federal laws, nor can they contradict the city or county ordinances that govern the area in which the HOA is located.

For example, if an HOA rule states that homeowners cannot park on the street overnight, but the city ordinance allows for street parking between certain hours, the local ordinance would take precedence. Similarly, if an HOA rule prohibits the installation of solar panels on rooftops, but state law mandates that homeowners have the right to install solar panels, the state law would take precedence.

So, what should you do if you believe your HOA is violating local laws or overstepping its bounds? The first step is to review your HOA's CC&Rs to determine whether the rule in question is actually in line with local laws. If it is not, you can bring the matter to the attention of your HOA board and request that they revise the rule accordingly.

If the HOA board refuses to address the issue or you believe that the violation is egregious, you may need to seek legal counsel from an experienced HOA attorney. A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the situation, and develop a strategy to address the issue.

In conclusion, local laws do supersede HOA rules and regulations. As a homeowner, it's essential to understand the hierarchy of laws that govern your community and to seek legal counsel if you believe your HOA is violating local laws. At LS Carlson Law, no other law firm in the country has represented more homeowners in HOA disputes and can provide the guidance and advocacy you need to protect your rights. Contact us today to learn more.

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