select
|

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.
 
 
ISSUED BY ARC


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      The average size of bond granted in SA has grown 7,7% in the past 12 months to R934 000, according to BetterBond, the country’s biggest bond originator.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      In the current market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong, especially in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is according to Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop. However he says that before homeowners let their property out, there are five key points they should make sure are covered before they market the property for rent and sign any lease agreements.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK