Can My HOA Prohibit Children from Playing Outside?
No. A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) cannot enact rules that prohibit children from playing outside. This would be illegal. This is true even if the tenant is not an owner of a unit at the complex, but merely a renter. Condominium Associations do not have special status over apartment complexes. They don’t get to make their own rules, simply because they own the place. Fair Housing laws apply to all housing, not just apartment complexes. HOA’s are not immune from Fair Housing laws. Fair Housing laws prohibit HOA’s from materially restricting the children of renters and children of owners from playing outside. Any rule enacted by an HOA that materially interferes with children from playing outside is illegal.
Can a Condominium Association’s CC&Rs Prevent Children from Playing?
No. Simply because a condominium association has CC&Rs, doesn’t mean that they can enact CC&Rs that violate Fair Housing laws. CC&Rs are illegal if they materially restrict children from playing outside. Period. The law does not grant a special exception to a condominium association to draft illegal rules simply because they have been written into the condominium association’s CC&Rs. Any CC&R that materially prevents children from playing outside is illegal.
Does a renter of a condominium have fewer rights than an owner?
No. Renters have equal rights under the Fair Housing Act. An owner or the HOA cannot treat the children of renters much more strictly than it treats the children of owners. The children of renters and owners have equal rights under the Fair Housing Act.
Can my HOA fine me for letting my children play outside?
No. Any attempts to fine someone for letting their children play outside is completely illegal.
Can my HOA restrict the areas where my children can play? For example, can my HOA restrict playing to a designated playground?
No. It is illegal for an HOA to set up a playground, and then to declare that children can only play on that playground and nowhere else in the complex. Children are free to play in open lawns, sidewalks, and open areas. The HOA cannot restrict this activity. Any rule or CC&R that declares that children can only play in a designated area would not be enforceable.
Can my HOA prohibit playing in the daytime because the noise will interfere with tenants who work at night and sleep during the day?
No. Day sleepers are required to accommodate children who make noise while playing during the day. Your HOA or landlord cannot prohibit children from playing merely because tenants who sleep during the day prefer peace and quiet.
Do I have to set up a formal meeting with the HOA before I can contact a lawyer about my fair housing rights?
No. The law does not require you to do so. You are free to contact a lawyer at any time.