Are you speaking of personal property or real property?
If you are speaking of personalty sitting in a common area where the personalty is deteriorated I would think it is within the management powers of the HOA Board to make those decisions.
There is a statute for everything and not every fact situation has been litigated, but the purpose of the HOA Board is to manage the common property and to enforce the covenants.
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The HOA has a duty to maintain the property in a safe usable condition. This includes repair and replacement of common areas and common elements. The board has the responsibility to do this, but they also have the duty to be fiscally responsible. If there is not a reserve to replace the playground equipment, it may mean a special assessment to all homeowners to accomplish this. If your HOA is suffering from the economy like most, this may not be a viable option if there are a lot of homeowners past due in assessments and the operating budget or reserves are not fully funded.
While the HOA cannot change the scheme of the neighborhood or sell of real estate unless it is authorized in the declarations and bylaws, getting rid of a rusty swing is not a material alteration or substantial change. While the smart thing would be to replace it, if the HOA can't financially accomplish that it should at least get rid of it because of the liability it presents.
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