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Subject: HOA limits residence to married or lineal descent
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JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/24/2019 6:38 PM  
Hi,

I am living in an HOA as a homeowner. I want to have a friend and boyfriend live with me but the HOA is not letting me, saying that residence is only for the owner, married couples and direct lineal descent/lineal descent relatives. Is this discrimination or legal?

I want to stand up to the HOA but do not wish to sue.

I am in Texas, so the familial clause for unmarried couples doesn't apply to me. Let me know what your thoughts are or for further information.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/24/2019 6:42 PM  
Single family, townhouse, or condo?
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/24/2019 6:47 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/24/2019 6:42 PM
Single family, townhouse, or condo?




It's a townhouse on a single-family residence lot.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/24/2019 7:13 PM  
(1) A county recorder, title insurance company, escrow company, real estate broker, real estate agent, or association that provides a copy of a declaration, governing document, or deed to any person shall place a cover page or stamp on the first page of the previously recorded document or documents stating, in at least 14-point boldface type, the following:

“If this document contains any restriction based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, disability, genetic information, national origin, source of income as defined in subdivision (p) of Section 12955, or ancestry, that restriction violates state and federal fair housing laws and is void, and may be removed pursuant to Section 12956.2 of the Government Code. Lawful restrictions under state and federal law on the age of occupants in senior housing or housing for older persons shall not be construed as restrictions based on familial status.”

George and John, I hope this contributes to being helpful!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/24/2019 10:09 PM  
I think what the HOA is saying is they don't want your home to become like a "frat house". Which means multiple un-related roommates. Which if you view the relationship between you and your boyfriend it kind of comes across that way. Especially if you plan on "renting" them a room.

It's most likely the last part they don't want. Renting your rooms out. Which did you mention this to your HOA? Because I am sure your friend is going to "rent" their room. Your boyfriend is going to "share" in your house payments as "rent". So this maybe why the HOA is against it altogether. Plus it adds additional parking and noise levels.

Former HOA President
CarolF
(Florida)

Posts:424


11/25/2019 4:42 AM  
Mark - would you give the source of your quote. I keep a file of this type of
information and would like to add your information. Thanks.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 5:29 AM  
Thanks everyone for your replies. I wish Texas laws are like Florida but I don't think we have an anti-discriminatory clause like Florida does.

Melissa, I understand your point. In my view, we don't add any extra parking as we have our own garages, and we are pretty quiet as young professionals vs. a family of young kids. I am also not sure how they can prove someone is living with me, unless they track who is coming in and out of my house. I plan to appeal the violation at the next HOA meeting. If that doesn't go through, I plan on filing an exception and then contacting a lawyer. I am not familiar with HOAs but I hope they are willing to work things out.
AugustinD


Posts:2045


11/25/2019 5:34 AM  
Mark's quote is from a California statute. Federal fair housing law does not protect against discrimination against unmarried couples. Only a few states have such protection, under their respective state laws.

Jessica, it sounds like you have already done some homework. I would only add that, if your HOA's covenants say what the board said, then I think you are out of luck.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:526


11/25/2019 6:02 AM  
I asked our attorney about the status of roommates, non-married partners, etc., and he told me the following:

* A person who is legally married to the person whose name is on the deed is an owner.

* A person who is living with an owner but not legally married to them is not an owner/member of the association. This non-owner group includes roommates, tenants and domestic partners since Ohio does not recognize common law marriage. The non-owner group may or may not include adult, first degree relatives of the owner (child, parent, sibling) depending on the wording of the governing docs.

* A person who is not legally married to an owner doesn't enjoy the legal rights or benefits of ownership. If that person has not signed a formal lease, that person may also not be protected by the state's landlord-tenant laws (although these can get a little squirrelly if you try to evict someone who's been living in a home, with or without a lease).

* HOA rules and regulations can also get squirrelly when dealing with non-owner, non-tenant residents. For instance, our old parking restriction said that owners may not use guest parking, but made no reference to non-owner residents. We ended up amending the restriction, as it was unenforceable as originally worded.

* If I were on the board of the OP's HOA, I'd be talking to a lawyer about this. There are in fact legal forms of discrimination (such as the distinction between owners and non-owners) and an HOA can enforce these. Whether or not they can prevent someone from living in a community is a different question.

(I'd also be having a chat with an attorney before I got myself into a domestic partnership because I may discover that I no longer have the rights that I believe I have. But that's neither here nor there for this discussion.)
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/25/2019 7:31 AM  
Just wondering:

If boyfriend maintains a residence elsewhere (driver's license at a different address, etc.), couldn't you claim that he's a guest rather than a resident?

If he was a guest, what rules would apply?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
TimM11


Posts:323


11/25/2019 11:26 AM  
How would they enforce the lineal descent part?

Also, depending where you live, there's a chance that marital status might be covered under a local law at the city or county level.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:526


11/25/2019 11:45 AM  
Posted By NpS on 11/25/2019 7:31 AM
Just wondering:

If boyfriend maintains a residence elsewhere (driver's license at a different address, etc.), couldn't you claim that he's a guest rather than a resident?

If he was a guest, what rules would apply?




It doesn't really matter whether he is a guest or a tenant or other non-owner resident unless the governing docs specifically differentiate among them. He has to comply with the same restrictions and rules as the owner, but the owner of the unit will be on the hook legally if he fails to do so. (This is one of those little surprises potentially awaiting domestic partners.)
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/25/2019 11:49 AM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/24/2019 6:38 PM
Hi,

I am living in an HOA as a homeowner. I want to have a friend and boyfriend live with me but the HOA is not letting me, saying that residence is only for the owner, married couples and direct lineal descent/lineal descent relatives. Is this discrimination or legal?

I want to stand up to the HOA but do not wish to sue.

I am in Texas, so the familial clause for unmarried couples doesn't apply to me. Let me know what your thoughts are or for further information.



Is this restriction in your CCRs or your Rules and Regulations?
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 12:49 PM  
It looks like it's in the condominium declarations not the CCRs. Does that make a difference? I believe both are binding.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/25/2019 1:02 PM  
Thought this was a townhouse?
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/25/2019 1:03 PM  
Declarations are generally your CCRs. If they were in your Rules and Regulations only, they would have to be fair and reasonable and could be argued not fair based on what other states have done.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 1:07 PM  
Yes it is, it's called "condominium declaration for ___ townhouses." Odd, I know.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 1:08 PM  
Not sure how they would enforce it either. Also, this is saying that home owners wouldn't be able to house their parents, etc. which seems fairly restrictive.

Thanks for the tip. I'll check and see if maybe it's under any laws.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 1:16 PM  
You're right. I may have to do that if they do not allow him to live there since he does have another address which is his "permanent" address (aka his childhood house, which is incidentally relatively close by).

The CCRs say that anyone who stays longer than 10 days is a resident.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/25/2019 1:45 PM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/25/2019 1:08 PM
Not sure how they would enforce it either. Also, this is saying that home owners wouldn't be able to house their parents, etc. which seems fairly restrictive.

Thanks for the tip. I'll check and see if maybe it's under any laws.



How and who would enforce it? Are people supposed to "rat" each other out?
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/25/2019 2:43 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/25/2019 1:45 PM
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/25/2019 1:08 PM
Not sure how they would enforce it either. Also, this is saying that home owners wouldn't be able to house their parents, etc. which seems fairly restrictive.

Thanks for the tip. I'll check and see if maybe it's under any laws.



How and who would enforce it? Are people supposed to "rat" each other out?




It stays in the CC&R that HOA can use forcible entry? Also, I have a delightful neighbor on the board and she likes to keep track of who is coming in and out of our houses.
AugustinD


Posts:2045


11/25/2019 3:32 PM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/25/2019 2:43 PM
[...] I have a delightful neighbor on the board and she likes to keep track of who is coming in and out of our houses.


Perhaps consider that, if she and the board do not attempt to enforce the covenants, they could be sued personally. It is a drag to be a HOA member. Often being a board member is even worse. The worst part of being a Board member is having to read over and over to members what the covenants are.

For your reference, "Declaration" is interchangeable with "Covenants." The word "declaration" is used about as often as covenants in discussions of HOAs. The Declaration is the number one in-house controlling document that will be referenced in the courts alongside state and federal law.

You seem to get getting a lot of support for the boyfriend and friend to live with you. But if I were on your HOA's Board, I would find myself stuck with enforcing the covenants as written, with the advice of the HOA attorney as needed. To do otherwise is a violation of fiduciary duty, the covenants, and probably the states HOA law and corporate law. And come on. Texas requires HOAs to disclose to purchasers of HOA homes all covenants, restrictions et cetera. The law sees you as having bought into this HOA with eyes wide open regarding what the restrictions are. Right now, I do not see that the HOA is breaking the law.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:195


11/25/2019 3:42 PM  
Can you do anything with the deed? Maybe add them to it and at the same time have an agreement of sale selling you back their ownership for $1 when ever you demand it. I would talk to a real estate attorney and see if there was a way you could add them without losing control of ownership or money down the road.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/25/2019 5:42 PM  
Think about protecting yourself and not love/friendship. Make sure to have the lines drawn out amongst your friend and boyfriend. Otherwise you could really be holding the bag on too many things. Like make sure when they sign a lease with you that it includes following the HOA rules.

Former HOA President
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/25/2019 9:04 PM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/25/2019 1:07 PM
Yes it is, it's called "condominium declaration for ___ townhouses." Odd, I know.


Townhouses are usually HOAs. But they can also be Condominiums. Different laws apply. Not that odd.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/25/2019 9:06 PM  
Can you provide the exact language that says someone staying for 10 days is a resident?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:245


11/26/2019 8:50 AM  
Do they require marriage licenses and DNA tests?

What a ludicrous rule.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 11:53 AM  
Posted By NpS on 11/25/2019 9:06 PM
Can you provide the exact language that says someone staying for 10 days is a resident?




"Possession of or residence in a condominium unit by any other person than the record owners, their lineal descendants or lineal descendant relatives, continuing for a period of ten days, shall be deemed...a leasing of the condominium unit, whether or not any consideration has been paid therefor...Board of Managers may require the removal of such occupant(s)."

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/26/2019 12:12 PM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/26/2019 11:53 AM
Posted By NpS on 11/25/2019 9:06 PM
Can you provide the exact language that says someone staying for 10 days is a resident?


"Possession of or residence in a condominium unit by any other person than the record owners, their lineal descendants or lineal descendant relatives, continuing for a period of ten days, shall be deemed...a leasing of the condominium unit, whether or not any consideration has been paid therefor...Board of Managers may require the removal of such occupant(s)."




Never seen anything like that.

In your shoes, I would probably wait for the Board of Managers to send notice that my boyfriend has to leave. No telling how long that will take or if it happens at all.

After receiving notice, I would have my boyfriend stay at his parent's house every 7-10 days. That would avoid the 10 day trigger.

Silly rule.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/26/2019 12:33 PM  
I found a set of documents in Texas that has the language described by the OP. It may even be theirs. The reference is on page 9.

https://galvestoncondoliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MarinerHouseDocs.pdf
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/26/2019 1:26 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/26/2019 12:33 PM
I found a set of documents in Texas that has the language described by the OP. It may even be theirs. The reference is on page 9.

https://galvestoncondoliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MarinerHouseDocs.pdf



If this is the OP's condo, I would modify what I said.

All of page 9 is about right of first refusal. You can't sell, rent, or lease a unit without offering it first to the Association. There is also a right to evict and take possession if you don't get prior approval. Not sure if this would stand up in court, but I wouldn't want to be the one to test it.

There is also a rule in bold type (no page number) that all units are restricted for single family use only with a $1500 fine for violators.

Under these circumstances, I wouldn't wait for a violation letter. But you could still try having the boyfriend stay at parent's house at least once every 7-10 days.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/26/2019 1:27 PM  
CORRECTION

in all caps

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/26/2019 1:45 PM  
I find it interesting that right of first refusal extends to now living children of Robert F. Kennedy, former Attorney General and the now living children of Bob Casey M.C. a former member of Congress, whichever of their children outlived the other, PLUS the period of 21 years from the date of the execution of this declaration. WOW.

That is a new one on me.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 2:03 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/26/2019 12:33 PM
I found a set of documents in Texas that has the language described by the OP. It may even be theirs. The reference is on page 9.

https://galvestoncondoliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MarinerHouseDocs.pdf




This is not my HOA, but it is worded the same way. It also includes the "Kennedy" statement! I wouldn't be surprised if both were from the same source.

I have received a violation from the HOA a week ago as I requested parking permits for the boyfriend and friend. I realize now that it was dumb but I didn't realize the "lineal descendant" rule at the time (I only was looking at the CC&Rs). So I basically handed myself in. They gave me a month to fix the violation. After that, they said it may incur a fine of a couple hundred. I plan to appeal or ask for exemption - not sure how that'll go but I will keep y'all updated. Also contacted a lawyer just in case.

I suppose I could say that I thought guests needed parking permits since they limit guest parking to a couple days - but they will probably suspect I am fibbing. They both travel a lot so I don't believe they ever stay for >10 consecutive days.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/26/2019 2:05 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/26/2019 1:45 PM
I find it interesting that right of first refusal extends to now living children of Robert F. Kennedy, former Attorney General and the now living children of Bob Casey M.C. a former member of Congress, whichever of their children outlived the other, PLUS the period of 21 years from the date of the execution of this declaration. WOW.

That is a new one on me.


Looks like you ran into the rule against perpetuities Mark. Very old and very confusing.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 2:05 PM  
Posted By SamE2 on 11/25/2019 3:42 PM
Can you do anything with the deed? Maybe add them to it and at the same time have an agreement of sale selling you back their ownership for $1 when ever you demand it. I would talk to a real estate attorney and see if there was a way you could add them without losing control of ownership or money down the road.




Definitely a possibility, am definitely considering this option.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 2:05 PM  
Posted By SamE2 on 11/25/2019 3:42 PM
Can you do anything with the deed? Maybe add them to it and at the same time have an agreement of sale selling you back their ownership for $1 when ever you demand it. I would talk to a real estate attorney and see if there was a way you could add them without losing control of ownership or money down the road.




Definitely a possibility, am definitely considering this option.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/26/2019 2:30 PM  
I can understand having some type of relationship restriction to prevent a place from becoming a boarding house/group home. What the OP should do is have the two guys move in and introduce one as her hubby and the other guy as his brother. I doubt the HOA is going to ask for a marriage certificate.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/26/2019 2:33 PM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/26/2019 2:03 PM
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/26/2019 12:33 PM
I found a set of documents in Texas that has the language described by the OP. It may even be theirs. The reference is on page 9.

https://galvestoncondoliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MarinerHouseDocs.pdf




This is not my HOA, but it is worded the same way. It also includes the "Kennedy" statement! I wouldn't be surprised if both were from the same source.

I have received a violation from the HOA a week ago as I requested parking permits for the boyfriend and friend. I realize now that it was dumb but I didn't realize the "lineal descendant" rule at the time (I only was looking at the CC&Rs). So I basically handed myself in. They gave me a month to fix the violation. After that, they said it may incur a fine of a couple hundred. I plan to appeal or ask for exemption - not sure how that'll go but I will keep y'all updated. Also contacted a lawyer just in case.

I suppose I could say that I thought guests needed parking permits since they limit guest parking to a couple days - but they will probably suspect I am fibbing. They both travel a lot so I don't believe they ever stay for >10 consecutive days.




This is where I have a major issue with developers and lawyers putting into place a set of boilerplate documents without any knowledge of whether they fit that complex or not.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 4:22 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/26/2019 2:30 PM
I can understand having some type of relationship restriction to prevent a place from becoming a boarding house/group home. What the OP should do is have the two guys move in and introduce one as her hubby and the other guy as his brother. I doubt the HOA is going to ask for a marriage certificate.




I understand as well.

In Texas, we have the common law marriage which does not require a certificate anyway. I think we will just claim ourselves married through this route. We've been together for many years so it's not too off the rails ha. Might just need to tell my friend to move out unfortunately, which is a bummer since she's struggling financially.

Thank you all for the words of wisdom and the support.
JessicaH5
(Texas)

Posts:14


11/26/2019 4:25 PM  
Posted By NpS on 11/25/2019 9:06 PM
Can you provide the exact language that says someone staying for 10 days is a resident?




Just for my understanding, if there's no clause on short-term leases, would short term renting (like airbnb) for <10 days break that CC&R clause? In Texas, we recently had a case go up to the state supreme court (Tarr vs. Tanglewood) that states renting out on airbnb doesn't break the single family residential restriction. If I can't have roommates maybe I can have guests.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:227


12/04/2019 6:38 PM  
JessicaH5. This is a joke. No, no and no. I was an HOA president for 12 years in Texas and I don't care if you under condominium laws 81 or 82 or HOA law 209. They have no right to tell you who can live in your home. Period. End of story. Game over. They lose.

That said those douchebags may choose to fine you. Attack you. Cause you harm. You'll have to fight back in a court of law which means you will have to spend time/money. Done correctly you will get your money back but it'll take awhile.

Are you willing to fight?

JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:227


12/04/2019 6:41 PM  
And God help those HOA members who think they have a right to make forcible entry over your boyfriend.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:227


12/04/2019 6:50 PM  
This type of thing is what gets me animated. I am at a level of understanding where I can read my CC&R's, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations and pick out information both outdated and unenforceable. I worked closely with lawyers to draft (then) current documents. There are rules in my CC&R's which are overridden by state law.

No. Based on your OP your board is full of a bunch of power hungry little Hitlers blinded by their own arrogance and ignorance.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


12/05/2019 4:48 AM  
It doesn't take an individual to make changes to the documents. It takes a "village". So others may not agree with the rules as well. No reason it can not be changed by following the rules in the documents. If you actually READ your documents and NOT assume them, you will see they state must be compliant with State, local, and federal laws. Which those laws supercede the HOA documents despite what may be written at the time...

These are after all your neighbors.... So hope your not living in a world under constant attack and full of baby hitlers… LOL!

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:2045


12/05/2019 6:09 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 12/04/2019 6:50 PM
This type of thing is what gets me animated. I am at a level of understanding where I can read my CC&R's, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations and pick out information both outdated and unenforceable. I worked closely with lawyers to draft (then) current documents. There are rules in my CC&R's which are overridden by state law.
No. Based on your OP your board is full of a bunch of power hungry little Hitlers blinded by their own arrogance and ignorance.


Do you have a citation for a HOA/landlord being prohibited from discriminating on the basis of marital status in Texas?

As the OP noted in her very first post, Texas law allows housing providers and employers to discriminate on the basis of marital status (vis-a-vis familial status). Barring more information, this site says the OP is out of luck: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/living-together-book/chapter5-2.html
AugustinD


Posts:2045


12/05/2019 6:26 AM  
Posted By JessicaH5 on 11/26/2019 4:22 PM
In Texas, we have the common law marriage which does not require a certificate anyway. I think we will just claim ourselves married through this route. We've been together for many years so it's not too off the rails ha.


In a country where divorce is rampant and expensive, I cannot blame you for not marrying, of course. But now you want to say you want to consider a status of common law marriage. Texas has a few hefty requirements to establish a common law marriage. They go beyond merely "being together" for many years.

Once you have won your right to be seen as married, under Texas law one party can sue another for proper disposition of what becomes "community property" after establishment of the common law marriage.

In Texas, it seems common law marriage has pretty much the same disadvantages of non-common law marriage. Does the OP want the "boyfriend" to have significant legal rights to what currently is her property? If so, great. Will the boyfriend feel the same? If his "childhood house" (mentioned in an earlier post) translates to his parents' house, and the boyfriend has no property to speak of, sure. Divorce (required once a common law marriage is set up) will make him better off than before (and the OP, worse off). If the boyfriend owns the "childhood house," maybe not.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:227


12/05/2019 7:39 AM  
Let's be very clear about this folks. We are talking about the powers of an HOA NOT a landlord. The OP owns her property not the HOA. Now if she was renting from a property owner or lived in an apartment that's a bit of a different story. In this case the HOA does not own her property and therefore has no right to dictate who she allows into her home despite what the CC&R's state.

AugustinD


Posts:2045


12/05/2019 7:52 AM  
JaredC, she owns the townhouse-condominium under the terms of the condominium covenants. As long as the covenants do not violate either federal, state or municipal law, or are not wildly unreasonable, the OP is bound by them. Texas law says it is not unreasonable to discriminate on the basis of marital status. No Texas court and no federal court has ruled otherwise. Also, time and again, the courts have likened HOAs, as a matter of law, to landlords.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > HOA limits residence to married or lineal descent



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