Selective Enforcement

When a Condominium or Home Owner Association enforce rules, the Condo or HOA Association must be sure to have an enforcement policy that is standard across the board. Selective enforcement occurs when an Association decides to act against a Property or Unit Owner (or group of Owners) but does not do so against other Owners that are also in the same position. For example, if the Board of an Association decides to begin collection efforts against two Owners who are 90 days delinquent on their dues, but the Association does not do so against a third owner who is also 90 days delinquent (whether because the Board has not ran into issues with the Owner in the past, missed their account in an audit, or just from flat out favoritism), that Board is selectively enforcing the Associations rules and regulations. Selective enforcement can be apparent in situations that range from picking up after pets, following pool rules, and screening renters for Units that are rented out. It is important for a Board to formulate criteria and rules, and put them in writing before seeking to enforce such rules. An Association might have a rule established that only allows Owners to rent to tenants with a credit score of 700 or greater, but if it is not in writing, a tenant denied rental approval (or even the Owner) can accuse an Association of many things including discriminating based on age, gender or race. With written rules in place that are clear and that apply to all Owners, such claims of discrimination or selective enforcement can be shot down right away.

In many instances of selective enforcement, the Association may be correct in their attempt to enforce their rules against an Owner, but if improperly done, they could possible lose any type of action to enforce the rules, and could ultimately be responsible for the Owners costs and attorney fees.

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