The Georgia Property Owners Association Act (POAA) sets forth requirements and regulations for homeowners associations (HOAs) that voluntarily submit to the act and property owners’ associations created using the specific POAA in Georgia. The POAA does not explicitly implicate equal protection, but provisions within the law can impact equal protection.
For example, the POAA requires that property owners’ associations adopt rules and regulations that are “reasonable and uniformly applied.” This requirement should ensure that all association members are treated fairly and equally, without discrimination based on race, gender, personal feelings, or religion.
Property owners’ association members who feel mistreated or discriminated against have the POAA to provide them with a dispute resolution process. This process provides an impartial forum for resolving disputes and can help ensure that they afford all association members equal protection under the law. Numerous boards fail to abide by the law; to counter this failure, many homeowners need more financial resources to take legal action.
However, it is essential to note that the POAA does not explicitly address all potential issues related to equal protection in the context of property owners’ associations. Associations must still be mindful of their obligations under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, such as the Fair Housing Act, and take steps to ensure they are not engaging in discriminatory practices that would violate equal protection.
Violation of equal protection feeds into my argument that moving from an HOA to a POA is self-defeating and does not benefit the entire community. Please allow me to elaborate further. I will keep this high level because of the required words to further my thoughts. #1 this is a further infringement of members’ personal property rights. #2 this invites more powerful abuse of community association power and further enhances the ability of the Board of Directors. Despite the collective membership’s size, the few will hold the majority of the power.