Restrictions for homeowners associations

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Real Estate

Whether someone owns a condo or a house, there may be a homeowners association fee. HOAs help maintain the community and provide certain amenities, but they also place restrictions on homeowners. 

There are certain HOA rules that are perfectly legal. However, there are restrictions that they are unable to enforce because federal and state laws prohibit them. 

Common things an HOA cannot enforce

According to Realtor.com, one of the federal laws that protect homeowners refers to discrimination. The Fair Housing Act protects current and prospective owners from discrimination due to religion, race, origin, politics or ethnicity. The Federal Communications Commission also protects homeowners from the decisions related to cable television, such as installing a satellite dish. 

HOAs must clearly define rules and may not make rash decisions. For example, they cannot just decide suddenly that a homeowner must have patio furniture in only certain colors. HOAs may also not fine an owner if there is not a listing of the fine in the covenants, conditions and restrictions handbook. 

Indiana law involving HOA legal action

Indiana homeowners who are having issues with their HOA may turn to the state for help. However, according to WRTV Indianapolis, the Attorney General’s office will only take action on five specific issues. These include: 

  • Misappropriation of funds 
  • Budget violations 
  • Improper use of proxies 
  • Fraud 
  • HOA statute violations 

If there is evidence proving any of these wrongdoings, the office is unable to enforce anything, but it may file a lawsuit, seek restitution for HOA members or both. Even if the issue is not something the AG office will involve itself with, HOA members may still file complaints against the HOA or take legal action themselves.