Hardly a day goes by when there is not a homeowners association story in a newspaper somewhere in California. Even though some stories involve petty disputes, others are quite serious. While your HOA enjoys wide latitude to regulate the community, there seems to be a significant amount of misinformation about HOA limitations.
If you live in or around Camarillo, there is a good chance you are a member of an HOA. Even though some of your association’s rules may seem to be authoritarian, there are some advantages to living in an HOA community. If you are facing a dispute, though, you need to know your rights. While this list is far from complete, here are four things your HOA cannot do.
- Discriminate against you
Both federal and state laws prohibit housing discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, disability and some other traits. They also protect people who file complaints from retaliation. As such, if you are a member of a protected class and your HOA attempts to discriminate against you, you have legal recourse.
- Hold secret board meetings
You have a right to know what your HOA board is doing. In California, HOA officials must give residents a four-day notice before holding board meetings. If the board needs to hold an executive session, community members should have at least a two-day notice.
- Skirt due process
HOA administrators may attempt to discipline residents for a variety of reasons. Before doing so, though, they must afford due process. That is, you have a right to attend a fair hearing. You also have a right to notice of the HOA’s fine schedule.
- Remove your U.S. flag
Whether you feel patriotic or simply like the look of the American flag, California law allows you to fly it on your property. Your HOA may set reasonable restrictions on how you may display the flag, though.
If your HOA is not treating you properly, you have options for resolving the dispute. When you understand the limitations the law places on HOAs, you are in a better position to advocate for your best interests.