New law no threat to HOA rules

Even when it becomes law in October, the new Consumer Protection Act will not give homeowners in residential estates unlimited rights to do as they please without regard to the management and conduct rules of their homeowners’ associations (HOAs).  
So says Jeff Gilmour, president of the Association of Residential Communities (ARC), in response to recent reports that HOAs will be infringing the consumer’s “right to choose”, entrenched by the new legislation, if it accredits only certain suppliers and service providers to work on their estates – and that residents of the estates will thus be justified in challenging or ignoring such accreditations.
“Following this line of reasoning, it would then also be true to say that the HOA is interfering with the homeowner’s ‘right to choose’ when it sets down architectural guidelines for the estate, or makes rules about parking and pets, or even when it requires residents to pay their levies.
“And clearly this is ridiculous. There would soon be chaos in an estate – and an ensuing decline in property values, security and lifestyle - if everyone just ignored the HOA rules and did their own thing. It’s the existence and effect of certain rules that make estates desirable in the first place.”
Gilmour points out that even in traditional suburbs, homeowners have to follow local authority regulations and by-laws that restrict the type and height of buildings that may be constructed, for example, or provide for noise limitation, or, for that matter, control the display of estate agents’ advertising boards.
“The point is that these by-laws are not ill-intentioned attempts to curtail people’s freedom, but rules made for the common good of the community of residents who have chosen to live in that area – as are those put in place by any well-run HOA for the residents of a particular estate.
“In this regard, it is also important to note that HOAs are not voluntary or informal bodies run by a handful of owners having fun and making up rules as they go along. Most HOAs are registered Section 21 companies of which every homeowner in that particular estate is automatically a member, and thus has a very clear say in what rules are made and how the estate is run.
“The only volunteerism taking place is usually on the part of those elected by their fellow homeowners in the estate to be directors of the HOA, who often do the job on a voluntary basis despite the heavy management and fiduciary responsibilities involved.”
Consequently, he says, those who are suggesting that HOA rules will simply be superseded by the Consumer Protection Act should perhaps consider a 1997 Supreme Court decision that makes it clear that while it is everybody’s “right to choose” not to buy into a complex governed by certain management or conduct rules, those who do buy there are effectively agreeing to live by those rules, even if this means giving up some of their common law rights.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Demand for secure estate living in Hout Bay has risen sharply in recent years, precipitating a spike in development with estate homes now accounting for 20.24% of the property landscape with the launch of an exclusive new gated development on 26 November adding 20 more units to the existing 1250 estate homes.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      There are some things that money can’t buy – spectacular views from Mouille Point to the V&A Waterfront and a trendy and lively neighbourhood that encapsulates the very best of the Cape Town lifestyle.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Tshwane’s four-bedroom Mayoral mansion, nestled among ambassadorial residences in the upmarket suburb of Muckleneuk, fetched R5.1 million after spirited bidding at High Street Auctions’ final sale of the year.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said that the Monetary Policy Committee had once again decided to let the interest rates remain unchanged with the repo rate at 6.75%, and the prime lending rate at 10.25%.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      As the holiday season approaches, most of us are counting the days until that year-end bonus hits our account. There’s nothing quite like a little bank balance booster to get us in the holiday spirit.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      The Adelphi Centre (now entitled “ARTEM") in Sea Point, Cape Town, is being extensively renovated, and once complete will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      If you are looking to sell your home in today’s real estate market, there are certain things that you need to include both inside and outside your house. Today’s generation of home buyers is looking toward a more eco-friendly, energy and water conscious home, and if your house stands out then you are more likely to be able to sell it.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us