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CC&Rs Must Be Equally Enforced by HOAs

HOAs are required to uniformly enforce all covenants, conditions, and restrictions within a community. Failing to enforce these uniformly within the community can expose the HOA to selective enforcement lawsuits. Of course, an HOA can always counter such suits by bringing a lawsuit against the homeowner for violating the CC&Rs.

The Importance of Equal Enforcement of CC&Rs

HOAs are charged with protecting the rights and property values of homeowners (the HOA’s members) in the common interest community. HOAs agree to enforce these rules uniformly and without favor to all who purchase property within the community. At the same time, homeowners agree to abide by these rules and expect that these rules will be obeyed by their neighbors.

When HOAs selectively enforce these rules, it creates an unfair burden on homeowners who adhere to the CC&Rs. It erodes trust in the HOA and creates a sense of “If neighbor X doesn’t have to abide by the rules, then why should I?”

Over time, this can significantly erode the effectiveness of the HOA, reduce revenue, and diminish home values within the community. It is a vicious, downward cycle that is easily prevented through equal enforcement.  

Legal Liability for Selective Enforcement

There are many reasons that an HOA should not selectively or prejudicially enforce CC&Rs. In the eyes of the law, all homeowners within an HOA have the same rights and responsibilities. Further, the HOA has a duty to all homeowners to treat each member fairly, honestly, and without favoritism.

Homeowners who feel that they are victims of selective enforcement will often draft a letter to the HOA identifying the alleged violation and countering with evidence that either A) they are not a violation, B) the board is selectively enforcing CC&R’s by allowing other homeowners to commit the same violation, and/or C) requesting a hearing to discuss the alleged violation.

If this fails, plaintiffs can attempt to establish that the HOA has engaged in a pattern of selective enforcement. This often extends beyond the current board and involves investigating the actions of previous boards and their handling of CC&R violations. This can create a cascade of legal bills that are easily avoided through uniform enforcement of the CC&Rs. 

However, HOAs are not left defenseless. Should a homeowner bring a lawsuit against the HOA for selective enforcement of a clear violation, such as making structural changes without approval, failure to paint a home, failure to pay for agreed-upon services, etc., then the HOA may be able to file a countersuit to compel the homeowner to comply with the CC&Rs and to compensate the HOA for their legal expenses.   

What Our Clients Say

My family and I are thankful to Maddox, Segerblom and Canepa for their assistance during a three year case regarding construction defects to our home. We are truly appreciative of their knowledge, determination and assistance during this process. They were always courteous, and available to answer any and all of our concerns and questions. Thank you for the wonderful resolution. Many thanks to you and your staff.

Frances Castelli

We used Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa to represent us in a legal suit re problems in construction on new properties that we purchased from a developer.

We were very pleased with the representation provided by this law firm. They were fully communicative, responsive to our questions and were very knowledgeable about the issues that required resolution. Even after we reached a resolution, they have been responsive in making sure to point us in the right direction for help with repairs that are required.

We would recommend them to others with similar issues that require legal help.

Atam & Margo Lalchandani

Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa did a FANTASTIC job in our construction defects case. I interacted with several people from their office throughout our 2 year litigation. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always prompt about getting back to you when you have questions/comments/concerns. I especially enjoyed working with Darcy, Ardea, Eva, and Sandra. Being part of a lawsuit is no fun for anyone, but if you have to be a part of one, I can’t say enough positive things about this firm!

Victoria Fox

The law firm of Maddox, Segerblom, and Canepa were amazing to work with. They were thorough and always available for any questions we had. We worked a lot with Sandy who was always professional, friendly, always on time for appointments and just a great person to represent this firm. We have never been involved in a law suit before and they made it comfortable for us. We appreciate the hard work the lawyers and people who work for the firm did and would recommend them.

Becky Loudenburg
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