As illustrated in this comical but true story: “Chris Brown on Condo Complaints: I’m Being Setup by Haters!” it’s vitally important that an association’s governing documents are in order and that they clearly outline the rights of each owner, including rights to parking spaces. If parking spaces must be used as handicap spaces at some point due to a Fair Housing request, ensure that the whole process is done legally and properly under the governing documents and the law. Consult professionals as needed, especially an attorney in the case of a Fair Housing request for reasonable accommodation.
The story in that link above also brings to mind the importance of clear and specific enforcement provisions in the governing documents. If someone scratches their initials in the elevator, can you fine them? What about excessive noise or other vandalism?
Perhaps most importantly, this story shows the importance of treating members equally and fairly. In HOAs, the stakes are high. Financially, the home is a major investment. Psychologically, it may be even more important as a safe haven and source of security. On the other hand, living in an HOA requires some sacrifices of individual freedom for the communal good. The sacrifices must be fairly shared, however. Unequal treatment of members who are similarly situated will lead to issues more serious than being called a hater. The number one problem we see is when personality issues are the impetus behind an enforcement issue, rather than the goal of equal, consistent and uniform enforcement. Contact us for guidance in any enforcement situation where determining what is fair is causing or may cause difficulty.