Written By Corro’ll Driskell
First, I am not a practicing attorney but have been involved in quite a bit of litigation as a Board member and have conducted years of research. This is a “Tales from the Trenches” moment. All we have to face is some facts about community living; some are litigious people in our communities. They expect you to follow the rules but think they are excluded. Please share your experiences with the Georgia Senate P.O.A., H.O.A. & C.A. Study Committee https://hoafyi.news/aboutsr615committee. They are researching community member experiences to enact lawful changes.
P.O.A.A. on to the point of my post. All community association members should review their governing documents ( Declaration, By-laws, Article of Incorporation, and any rules and regulations).
Your declaration and CC& R (Restrictions) are the most crucial documents. Yes, you will find various types of people in your community that believes their property rights far outweigh the collective rights of a community. Once you sign your closing documents to purchase your homes, you give up much of your property rights. Remember, you agreed to the restrictions at closing. It is a contract between your family and the community association.
The problem has always been a combination of non-compliant members and the miseducation of Board members. Many join the board without reading over the governing documents ( Declaration, By-laws, Article of Incorporation, any rules and regulations). We can take this; further; they need to be aware of the federal & state laws [Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Fair Housing Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Freedom to Display the American Flag Act; Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule, United States Bankruptcy Code; The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; Georgia Property Owner’s Association Act; Georgia Condominium Association Act; Georgia Nonprofit Corporation CodeH.O.A.OA); Cooperatives; Fair Housing Act; Fair Debt Collection Practices ActF.D.C.P.A.PA)] that govern all community associations.
Ref Georgia Code:
AKA, Property Owners’ Association ActThey is movingP.O.A.A.AA]
([POAA] This code governs the formation, management, powers, and operation of applicable associations explicitly)
AKA Condominium Association Act [C.A.]
([C.A.] is similar to the [P.O.A.A.], except that it applies to condominium associations rather than homeowners associations. )
AKA Homeowner’s Associations [H.O.A.]
([H.O.A.] This code governs associations in Georgia and is typically organized as a non-profit or not-for-profit corporation. The fact that H.O.A. community associations are organized as non-profits. The H.O.A. corporation is governed by the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, specifically regarding corporate structure and procedures.
I include federal laws that impact community associations and provide some protections for people interested in communities and members.
Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act [F.D.C.P.A.], 15 U.S.C. §1692
(F.F.D.C.P.A.) regulates the conduct of “debt collectors” collecting debts owed by “consumers” to third parties. Due to its use of a management company or other company, a community association is considered a third party.
During my five-year tenure on the Board, we were self-managed. As a result of our community association’s self-management, we may have yet to qualify as debt collectors.
If a homeowner’s debt to the community association at &3,000 or more, Georgia’s Industrial Loan Act, O.C.G.A. §7-3-1 may apply. Please clarify with your attorney.
Fair Housing Act [FHA] 42 U.S.C. §3601 & 42 U.S.C. §3604
The F.H.A. was enacted to prevent housing discrimination based on “protected classes,” including race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, and national origin.
Georgia’s Fair Housing Law, O.C.G.A. §8-3-200 [G.F.H.A.]
(G.F.H.A. applies the protections provided under the F.H.A. at the state level. The Fair Housing Division of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity administers the state law.
I hope that this post helps.