For Americans living in neighborhoods run by homeowners associations, they are essentially subject to a miniature private government. The boards that run these neighborhoods have the legal capability to declare what the residents can and cannot do. Under state and federal law, these boards are not required to protect the constitutional rights that normal citizens enjoy every day. Boards can prohibit speech and invade the residents' privacy with cameras and overreaching surveillance. In order to prevent dissenting residents from "getting their way," boards can and do create rules that prevent residents from communicating with each other, and under the law, they are legally allowed to do this. Some residents are fighting back by bringing attention to stringent HOA board rules that infringe on normally constiutionally protected rights, and this sometimes prompts legislatures to pass laws that protect the residents from tough board rules. For the 20% of U.S. citizens living in neighborhoods run by homeowners associations, fighting for the right to continue to enjoy constitutional protections may become necessary if the boards continue to oppress residents.
Attorney Lombardi's Comment: Have you ever had a neighbor you really cannot stand? I do. Can you imagine them in charge of making rules that impact your property and in turn the valuation of your property? Do your due diligence before making an offer. I write a blog using BlobSpot. Visit it for a further discussion about buying homes and how to interpret Iowa's mandatory seller's disclosure statement. You may be surprised about what you can learn. Iowa Real Estate Lawyer If you have a question you would like answered, write to Katrina or me.