HOA/COA: Stop Waiting to Enforce the HOA Covenants

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Introduction

In Louisiana, Homeowners’ Association is defined as a nonprofit corporation, unincorporated association, or other legal entity, which is created pursuant to a declaration, whose members consist primarily of lot owners, and which is created to manage or regulate, or both, the residential planned community.  However, the statutes that follow these definitions do not apply to condominium properties.  To read up on condominiums and the applicable laws, check out our blog post.

Building Restrictions

Homeowners associations in Louisiana are allowed to impose building restrictions on property within the association’s residential area. These restrictions can concern building standards, specified uses, or land improvements. Restrictions may also include the initiation of an affirmative duty, or legal obligation, which may be a requirement to pay monthly or periodic fees or a charge to the homeowners for the expense of an improvement to the residence. Building restrictions can additionally apply to roadways, sidewalks, common areas, and other property in the residential area.  However, the Louisiana Civil Code provides that an HOA only has two years to act when there is a violation.

Recently, this principle was tested when a homeowner parked his work trailer in front of his home.  The homeowner continued to do so for two years, uninterrupted and when the HOA finally decided to take action, they were properly denied because their right had prescribed.

Building restrictions may be established, changed, and revoked based on the guidelines set up in the community homeowners’ agreements. However, if the agreement lacks such a clause on building restrictions, then the state legislature has set forth several avenues for changes to be made. The statute states that building restrictions can be established by a three-fourths vote of the association members, amended by a two-thirds vote of the members, and repealed by a one-half vote.

Should you have any questions or you would like to discuss this issue in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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