Enforcement Overexuberance: Help Your Association Clients Avoid Blowback

Associations are making headlines across the country — and not in a good way. Stories about the overly aggressive pursuit of fines, fees, and foreclosures are going viral on a regular basis. This enforcement overexuberance has many implications for community associations.

In July 2022, the Washington Post reported that a Texas couple put their house up for sale after their HOA sued them and threatened to foreclose. Their crime? Feeding ducks. Among other things, the association claimed that feeding ducks violated a rule against “noxious or offensive activity.”

The Post article also cited an infamous case out of Maryland. There, an owner won a seven-year court battle with his HOA over a requirement that every house in the community install a $500 monogrammed mailbox.

And then there’s the Green Valley Ranch HOA in Denver, Colo. It attracted extensive local media coverage for initiating more foreclosures in 2021 than any other association in the city.

“They were imposing higher fines than you’d see in other HOAs and seemed to have a limited willingness to work with owners to solve the issues before going to the attorney or commencing some legal action,” says Aaron Goodlock, a partner with the full-service community association law firm Orten Cavanagh Holmes & Hunt, LLC, in Denver.

“You want responsible patrolling to maintain property values, but then you have boards that are overexuberant about fines and enforcement,” says Alan Garfinkel, founding partner of Garfinkel Law, a full-service community association law firm in Florida.

Enforcement overexuberance comes with several risks that you and your association should be aware of. In our new article, we’ll discuss the risks and consequences of enforcement overexuberance and provide suggestions on what your association can do to ensure that amendments are being administered and enforced correctly.

Read the full article here: The Risks of Enforcement Overexuberance at Your Community Association

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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