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Are HOA fines legally enforceable?

Bellevue, WA |

We have an overzealous, do-gooder type in our townhouse homeowners' association, who loves to go around giving us and our guests parking tickets for the way we park on our own property. We're not even talking about common areas.. he just doesn't like the way we parked on OUR OWN DRIVEWAY.

Are these legally enforceable, or can I just tell him to blow me? (OK, maybe not in those words, but you get the idea.)

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Attorney answers 2


HOA assessements are enforceable and can be a lien on your real estate.
Real estate litigation between the HOA and a homeowner is not uncommon.
With a real estate lien that is enforceable by foreclosure, it makes
little sense to argue over a parking fine. With that said, if
you really want real estate litigation over it....the
courts permit you to do so.


The answer is in the CC&R's that you signed when you purchased the property. The HOA can amend their rules and by laws, but they have to advise you of any changes. I'm a little astounded that your CC&R's would cover proper parking . . . seems as though it would be fairly tough to somehow mis-park in your own driveway.

HOA's generally are concerned with improvements to the real property that are visible from the outside, such as paint colors, fences, and sometimes the colossal messes that some people festoon their property with. The argument in favor is that HOA rules, equally enforced, preserve property values. The argument against is that if you want to paint your house purple with yellow polka dots, you'll probably need to move to a non-HOA governed neighborhood.

Actually? The way to track the HOA's zeal towards your parking is to be out, with a camera, day in and day out taking pictures of other resident's parking. Then ask yourself if everybody in the neighborhood is getting treated the same. If yes, then there are probably enough reasonable persons in the neighborhood to replace the current Board, if they are not applying the rules even-handedly, then you have a basis to complain that you are being singled out for disparate treatment.

Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell

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