Tag Archives: government

An Amazing Lawsuit Against an HOA

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Florida Homeowners Association. The issue is whether it’s legal for an HOA to discriminate against families with children. The Federal Government claims in its lawsuit that the Townhomes of Kings Lake HOA have a pattern of violating the Fair Housing Act by harassing and taking action against families with children.

In one such case, the HOA threatened to evict a couple and their six children because the number of children exceeded HOA covenants.  The Justice Department claims by unduly limiting the number of children, the HOA was in violation of federal law.

A statement by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez says,  “The Fair Housing Act ensures that families with children have an equal right to use and enjoy housing of their choice. The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of families with children.”

The statement by this federal official is nothing more than astonishing. There are 302,000 Homeowners Associations in the country. Most of them regularly violate the Fair Housing Act in one way or another. Anyone who signs an agreement to abide by HOA regulations essentially signs away all his or her Constitutional rights. But the thought of this federal agency filing 302,000 more lawsuits is beyond comprehension.

A Conversation the Homeowner Doesn’t Know is Going On

“Oh. you’re moving into the neighborhood? I don’t really want to interfere with your attempt to lease or buy a home in this HOA. But I work for the government. And it’s my job to make sure the landlord didn’t make any misrepresentations to you when he agreed to lease or sell his home to you.

“For example, did the owner tell you whether the ratio of HOMEOWNERS to TENANTS was out of whack here?  Since renters have a reputation for not properly maintaining their homes, FHA loans and company reimbursements may not be available to anyone in the neighborhood.

“And did the landlord tell you that several people own multiple properties in this HOA? He didn’t? Mortgage companies don’t like to hear that, because if the owner defaults, he may do so on more than one property at a time. So this whole neighborhood could be redlined. You didn’t know that either?

“Ah, and one final thing. Did the landlord tell you that you, the tenant, could be hit up for special dues and assessments if the HOA’s kitty is underfunded? Yes, Real Estate law requires buyers and renters be informed about all possible defects before a contract of any kind is signed.

“Oh! You don’t want to live here after all? We hope we weren’t the ones who scared you off.  By the way, don’t tell the landlord we had this chat. Bye bye.”

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association