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After an anonymous flier informed residents that a registered sex offender had been seen at the community pool, a mother demanded that her homeowners association board take action. She feared for her children’s safety and wanted the offender banned. Nine months later, the pines of Greenwood Homeowners Association became the first association in their area to prohibit registered sex offenders from living in the community.
But the decision last year wasn’t without consequences. When a sister subdivision that shared the pool refused to enforce the ban, The pines at Greenwood severed the relationship and was left to make up $18,000 in lost pool revenue – a significant hit for a community of just 175 single-family homes operating on a $62,000 annual budget.
Struggling to make ends meet, facing foreclosures and decreased property values, more homeowners are renting out their properties. They do it to make the mortgage and pay the bills while they wait for property values to regain traction before selling.
There’s no shortage of renters. Many people-kicked into the street by mortgage foreclosure and unable to afford a home-are looking for a place to get their feet back on solid ground. Whatever the reason, for homeowners and renters, one thing is certain; homeowners associations are facing the prospect of more renters in their communities. Rentals are not usually welcomed with open arms, perpetuating the divide between resident owners and investor owners.
Readin’, ritin’ and rithmatic. That just about covers the learning that someone needs to know (as long as you live in the “holler”). But homeowner associations have their own version of the Three Rs called Rules, Regulations and Resolutions. These are the policies and procedures that define the standards of the community. They must comply with state and federal law. For example, the board cannot enact a rule that violates the Fair Housing Act.
Rarely if ever are the Three Rs clearly or fully defined in the governing documents. That is by design to allow flexibility and customization. Amending bylaws is tedious and difficult. The Three Rs can usually be modified as needed by the board. The board may use either rules and regulations or resolutions to accomplish this goal. So what’s the difference? Rules and Regulations are used to address rules of conduct.
Community associations offer one of the best opportunities for Americans to own their own homes. They are for the 21st century what land grants were in the 19th century, and what the New Deal and GI Bill were in the 20th. Why?
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