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A Bill of Rights for Homeowners in Associations: Basic Principles of Consumer Protection and Sample Model Statute

Homeowner associations are often able to provide amenities (such as parks, pools, and club houses) that would otherwise be difficult to procure from many cash-strapped local governments. By setting architectural standards and maintenance requirements, they may help reassure residents that their investment in the community is protected. Sometimes, however, conflicts arise between residents and association management that are not adequately addressed by state laws, regulations, or the governing documents of an association.

This AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper outlines a set of 10 key principles and provides sample statutory language that states can follow when developing laws for homeowners associations and other types of common-interest communities, and that associations themselves can use when developing or modifying their own governing documents. In advocating reasonability as the touchstone for all actions, the principles maintain that homeowners have the right to…

  • Security against Foreclosure
  • Resolve Disputes without Litigation
  • Fairness in Litigation
  • Be Told of All Rules and Charges
  • Stability in Rules and Charges
  • Individual Autonomy
  • Oversight of Associations and Directors
  • Vote and Run for Office
  • Reasonable Associations and Directors
  • An Ombudsperson for Homeowners

The author is a Texas attorney who has been practicing law for more than 20 years. He has represented homeowners in a variety of cases and actively promoted the rights of homeowners in the Texas State Legislature. (71 pages)

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