You think that owning your own home means you might be able to rent it out when troubled times hit your family? Not so, according to a judge in Mississippi. He ruled against a family who purchased an HOA home and leased it to someone else during the ongoing recession.
Jason and Anna Kephart bought their home in the Northbay Homeowners Association in 2010 but leased it to another family a short time later. But in 2006 Northbay had outlawed any home that was not owner-occupied. Now they’re beginning to sue the violators.
Northbay HOA board members immediately started crowing about the court victory against the Kephart family. Northbay’s vice president Steve Hickok says, “I’m happy with this decision…all Madison neighborhoods will be encouraged by the ruling.”
The judge’s ruling, in this blogger’s opinion, is probably correct. A homeowner never really ‘owns’ a home in an HOA. He just ‘borrows’ it from the neighborhood majority. So a ban against renting out your home is undoubtedly enforceable. In fact, the Northbay HOA says, “Now that we’ve won, we’re going to go after two other homeowners who are renting out their homes.”
But the unintended consequence of this attitude will soon become pretty clear. Instead of a fully occupied community, it’s not hard to imagine how HOA life will feel once all the Foreclosure signs start popping up.
There goes the neighborhood.