While it may appear that a community association has unlimited powers over its community, this is actually a common association myth. Yes, the association has powers that allow it to help protect the neighborhood’s aesthetic, but homeowners within an association also have their own powers under the course of due process.
4 Valid Homeowner Rights
Although some homeowner rights are obscure, we still think it’s important that community members know where their rights lie and how they can take action. Here are four common rights that homeowners possess under a community association in Texas.
1. The Fair Housing Act
According to the Fair Housing Act, an association cannot enforce rules that would create a disadvantage or single out a specific group of people. This means that no matter your race, ethnicity, political stance, or religion, your association has no power to kick you out because of it.
2. General Home Decorations
While there are limitations, homeowners are able to decorate their homes with religious displays or flags of their pleasing. In most associations, religious displays on front doors are regulated to a maximum of 25 square inches, while flags can generally be displayed on poles 20 feet tall and less. While homeowners may have some flexibility with how they can decorate their home, it’s always a good idea to still submit an Architectural Request for any exterior modification to ensure everything falls within your particular association’s unique guidelines.
3. Appeal Fines
If you find yourself facing a fine because of a violation of the association’s rules, you have the right to appeal that fine and violation. If the violation is valid but you have had it corrected, you have the right to ask your board of directors to waive the fine posted to your account. If you feel the violation itself is not even valid, you can appeal the issuance of the violation. Be sure to do your research and know exactly which rules from the association documents you are disputing.
4. The Right to Notice Prior to Enforcement
Before your association prevents you from using a common area, imposes a fine, or even begins to foreclose on your home, it must first present a written notice.
According to Texas HOA laws, this notice must:
- Describe the nature of the violation
- Outline what is requested to be done to cure the violation
- Give a specific timeframe for resolution
Maintain Your Association Rights with the Help of Goodwin & Company
Goodwin & Company is a team of management experts that can help homeowners and board members alike understand their legal rights. Our job as association management is to ensure that both parties cooperate and build up the communities we serve.
If your community association is in need of behind-the-scenes help, we’re ready to be tagged in! Contact us today to find out more about our services in your area.