Court Rules HOAs Can’t Ban Sex Offenders. Could Other States Follow?
A Pennsylvania court shot down an association’s attempt to prohibit lifetime registered sex offenders from living in its community. It made clear that associations can’t impose their own restrictions because the state already regulates where sex offenders can and can’t live (Lake Naomi Club, Inc. v. Rosado).
In 2016, in response to resident concerns, the association in the case adopted a restrictive covenant amending its declaration. The covenant banned lifetime registered sex offenders from occupying or residing in a unit or common area in the community.
Before adopting the amendment, the association sent written ballots to all members. More than two-thirds of the members approved it.
The amendment was challenged by an owner who was a convicted sex offender. After he was released on parole in 2018, he returned to his home in the community. Soon after, the association informed him that he was in violation of the amendment and requested that he vacate his property.
After he refused to do so, the association went to court to get an injunction permanently banning him from living at his property. But the trial court found the amendment void because it was against public policy and denied the injunction request.
The desire to keep sex offenders out of the community may be understandable, but your clients need to understand why their hands are tied on the matter — and the legal risks such prohibitions can pose.
In a new article, our association experts discuss the implications of the court ruling and whether the case could lead to similar rulings in other states. You’ll also learn whether your association clients should provide notifications about sex offenders in the community or leave it up to the authorities to do so.
Read the full article here: Court Says Associations Can’t Ban Sex Offenders