Frequent Community Nuisances Associations Encounter Part 2
It’s a fair observation that the average community ran by a Tampa HOA management company or condo management company will have its own challenges especially when it comes to nuisances in the neighborhood. How these issues are handled can set the community up for success or failure. The first part of our article highlighted the first set of nuisances community associations deal with regularly. This second part will discuss the last set of issues.
Today, work-from-home jobs and home-based businesses are popping up in neighborhoods all over the country. This growth is leading to the need for community associations to address the use of a home for certain activities. Associations have the authority to restrict or prohibit the operation of certain business activities. Like other regulations, these prohibitions should be contained in the associations governing documents. The provisions must define what is commercial and of a non-residential nature. Regulating the business activity in a community is meant to reduce the burden on the common areas of the community and the disturbance of residents by such things as limited parking, excessive delivery personnel, multiple employees, and excessive visitor traffic within the community.
Typically, the community association is contacted by managers or board members regarding child-related complaints. Owners are usually complaining about children in the common areas of the community they feel are causing a disturbance. The disturbance could be noise-related, youths damaging property, or participating in unsafe acts in the community. Some examples of complaints:
- Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycling in common areas
- Loitering in stairways or elevators
- Defacing common areas or a neighbor’s personal property
- Throwing objects at cars, windows, garages
- Playing outside at inappropriate hours
Whether community members are tenants, homeowners, or guests, by law, they are required to comply with the association’s governing documents. The sticky part comes in with the subject of discrimination. According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, an association can be sued if they enforce “a rule, restriction, or practice that has the effect of discriminating against one of the protected categories.” Basically, if the association enforces a rule that singles out children specifically or treats them differently from the general population, a claim can be filed against the association.