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Subject: Covenant enforcement - 100% or nothing
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04/27/2021 5:43 AM  
Regarding Florida single family homes

If 2 of 10 covenants are not enforced, can any of the covenants be enforced?

Our covenants says no overnight parking but a board member wants to issue parking passes when someone has overnight guests.

I think if you do not enforce part of the covenant contract, you cannot enforce any of it.


(North Carolina)


04/27/2021 5:54 AM  

Failure to obey one set of covenants doesn't negate the effectiveness of the entire covenant list in my opinion. However, a board member who doesn't apply covenants to business decisions is not acting in good-faith.

For example, many older HOAs may restrict TV antennas or clotheslines. Those rules, in some cases, are obsolete as are any older covenants that are superceded by state or local laws (property setbacks).

Is permitting overnight parking for out-of-town guests, reflective of a problem or does it reflect that your homes don't have large enough driveways for more than the owner-occupants? My mid-1980s community certainly lacks driveways space for modern family of four (with teen drivers).

However, by letter of the law, your point is well-taken and complaint is valid.


04/27/2021 5:55 AM  
In short, yes.

"Selective enforcement" refers to situations where a particular violation (let's say parking) is enforced for some owners but not for others. It does not mean that if the board fails to enforce one restriction that the whole shebang collapses.



04/27/2021 6:00 AM  
Covenants aren't the 10 commandments - they can and do change based on how the community has evolved. Priorties are also an issue - the board has a lot to do, and sometimes violation of some covenants have to be addressed sooner and quicker because of that community evolution. Just because the parking covenants may have to be tweaked doesn't mean you can skip filing exterior change requests if you want to paint your house a certain color.

To wit - you don't say how old your community is, but it may have been built at a time when there weren't 3, 4, 5 car families or more, and now the board is considering ways to address the parking issue and recognizing that when one has friends and family visiting from out of town, it's impractical to have them find another place to park. If you don't want overnight parking, how do you propose the issue be addressed? If you come up with something, go to the board and make your proposal. Or volunteer to research the issue in detail, perhaps be part of an advisory committee that will do it and make recommendations to the board.

And since we're talking about CCRs, changes will likely require homeowner approval anyway, so perhaps you should slow your roll and find out a little more about the proposal. What do YOU do when you have overnight guests?

Read the rest of your documents while you're at it - there could be language that allows the board to enact additional rules to flesh out the CCRs without superseding them. In this case, it might make sense to issue parking passes for a limited time because those overnight guests won't be around forever. You would still prohibit overnight parking whilly-nilly.


04/27/2021 6:02 AM  
In Art's particular case, if a board member wants to do something that contradicts the covenants and restrictions, an amendment is needed (which would need homeowner approval by a majority of the membership and often a super-majority of 67% or 75%).

It's worth asking the question at least. And the board member should be prepared to address what happens when a number of owners have overnight guests, or streets are blocked, or people park on lawns, etc. etc. (My pet peeve is people with bright ideas who don't think through the consequences of those bright ideas.)


04/27/2021 6:16 AM  
I agree with the others, failure to enforce some of the covenants has no effect on the others.


04/27/2021 6:23 AM  
Like others have said, you need to amend your covenants. It is probably worth amending. My HOA dose not enforce the parking covenant because of the way our community was built.
(South Carolina)


04/27/2021 10:03 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/27/2021 6:16 AM
I agree with the others, failure to enforce some of the covenants has no effect on the others.

I agree. The OP is reaching.
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