Many property owners in Texas have few options other than to purchase a home located within a planned neighborhood or one that is governed by a homeowners association (HOA) or community association. Especially in the Houston Metropolitan area, planned communities impose quite a few obligations on local property owners.
Occasionally, either because someone has their own sense of aesthetics or doesn’t develop positive rapport with their neighbors, they may find themselves facing hostility from the local community association or (HOA). In extreme cases, an authority figure for their community may even want to force them to sell their home and leave. How can someone fight back against HOA attempts to remove them from a neighborhood?
They can disprove the allegations
Whether the HOA wants to claim that someone has fallen behind on their association fees or that their property is not compliant with the association’s standards, a property owner can potentially submit their own documentation that shows they have made appropriate payments or that their property is compliant with all of the applicable rules. In scenarios involving exaggerated or fabricated claims against a property owner, gathering evidence to disprove those allegations may be the only real effort required to avoid a force sale or removal from a property.
They can show a history of harassment or selective enforcement
If an HOA or community association targets an individual because of interpersonal relationships or protected characteristics, including their rates or religion, they may be able to fight back again the attempt to remove them from the community. Even if the HOA or community association has not been overt in its discrimination against or harassment of an individual, it may have engaged in selective enforcement of community rules.
Selective enforcement involves choosing to hold one party accountable for a minor breach of standards while letting others engage in the behavior without penalty. Selective enforcement is one of the forms of discrimination that is easy for people to document, as they can show how an HOA or community association has allowed certain behavior in previous cases but now wants to discriminate against the specific homeowner for the same issue.
Those who are facing aggressive enforcement actions by their local community association may need help defending their ownership rights and defusing conflict. Learning more about someone’s rights when living in a planned community can help them fight back against discrimination and mistreatment from those in positions of authority.