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Three ways to enforce HOA rules and regulations

Homeowners associations exist to keep residential areas safe and looking their best. Unfortunately, not all residents of neighborhoods with an HOA agree with all of the rules and regulations, or they may be unaware of specific rules because they failed to read the community covenants, conditions and restrictions declaration given them upon move-in. When a resident fails to follow the CC&Rs, there are three ways HOA boards in Missouri can enforce the rules.

When an HOA faces a personal injury claim

Did a homeowner or his or her guest get hurt while utilizing common space in your community? Are you or the homeowners association you volunteer for facing a lawsuit because of it? In Missouri, when an HOA faces a personal injury claim, it and its board members can take steps to fight or settle the matter as quickly as possible.

What does a Homeowners Association regulate?

In Missouri, many neighborhoods have a Homeowners Association (HOA). These associations help keep communities coherent, manage funds, and can even determine the outward appearance of a neighborhood. Unfortunately, because HOAs essentially "manage" the neighborhood, you could find yourself running into disputes with your resident homeowners if you are part of it.

What rules can't a HOA enforce?

A homeowners' association (HOA) can add a lot of value to the life of residents. However, HOAs must also adhere to certain rules and regulations to ensure they don't run afoul of the law. Realtor.com offers the following examples of unenforceable rules that all HOAs should steer clear of.

Be aware of common HOA violations

Are you among the many Missouri residents who enjoy living in a master-planned community? If so, chances are you have a homeowner’s association. This entity’s rules help keep the peace between neighbors. It also prevents properties located within its boundaries from becoming eyesores. At Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law, we often assist HOAs in protecting the interests of the community.

What should you expect from your HOA?

There are many advantages to living in an area that has a homeowner's association in Missouri. Such an organization can establish guidelines for you and your neighbors who reside in the community. These rules can help to maintain a place that is aesthetically pleasing, mutually beneficial and in accordance with city-sanctioned laws. 

What should residents know about your HOA?

If you are a HOA representative, you probably have experience with Missouri homeowners contesting the rules of your HOA. Even though newcomers may appear to give homeowners’ association rules a good review before they buy a home in a HOA neighborhood, it may not be long before new residents chafe at the requirements. One way to cut down on conflict between homeowners and your HOA is to make sure new homeowners are aware of how your HOA operates and what it requires before they move in.

Understanding HOA laws and governance

If you are looking to buy a new home in Missouri, you may well be considering a property that is part of a homeowners' association. If so, it will be important for you to understand how the laws and governance of this HOA may affect your home ownership and responsibilities. An HOA is about a lot more than just paying dues and having common property cared for. 

Can the government get involved in an HOA dispute?

If you hold a position of authority in a Missouri homeowner association, you may have concerns about the possibility of government overreach. In other words, if a dissatisfied homeowner makes an appeal to the government to resolve a dispute or challenge an association rule, you may have concerns that the government will step in and undermine your autonomy. 

Filing articles of incorporation

Neighbors in Saint Charles may want to bad together to set standards for their communities through a homeowners association, yet may not want to have to tackle the complexity that comes with incorporating with the state. The danger in this is that if an unincorporated HOA is sued, each member can be held personally liable (as opposed to limiting liability to the Board of Directors). Plus, with the state paving the way for such groups to incorporate as non-profit organizations (per Section 355.025 of Missouri's Nonprofit Corporation Law), why would homeowners not want to enjoy the advantages that come with such a distinction? 

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