If you’re looking to buy a home, you may have stumbled across a Home Owners Association (HOA). HOAs are incredibly helpful for most home owners. However, there are horror stories of crazy regulations, dysfunctional operation, and general unhelpfulness. You’ve may have even heard that a HOA or condo association could deny a buyer. But can they really?
The practice of an HOA screening residents is pretty rare. It’s not particularly common outside of Florida and New York. If an HOA has a screening process, it must be first explicitly stated in the HOA’s by-laws. So, if you’re a seller and your HOA indicates that they might try to deny a buyer, take a good look at those bylaws.
3 Reasons a Condo Association or HOA Could Deny a Buyer
1. Regulation Misalignment
If there is something inherent in the buyer’s application which goes against the rules of the association, the HOA could deny a buyer. The most common example of this is that the buyer have pets and the HOA doesn’t allow pets. In order to be allowed into the HOA (and the home) the buyer would need to give up their pets. There’s an easy way to avoid this: if you have pets, avoid looking at places which wouldn’t let you keep your furry pals.
Now, the HOA can not deny you based upon your past criminal history, your job status, or whether or not you’ve filed for bankruptcy. This would count as discrimination. They can deny you if you lie about your background in your application and they find out that you lied. It’s best to just be upfront and honest.
3. Prior Rule Violations
Let’s say you were a rental tenant in the HOA and now you’re looking to buy a home. As a tenant who didn’t really care about the rules, you broke a lot of them. You were loud at night and, wow, you were messy. And now that you’re trying to purchase the home, the HOA doesn’t want to put up with an infinite number of years with the same old stuff.
Remember, when buying a home it’s not just about whether or not the HOA likes you. It’s also about whether or not you like the HOA. Moving forward, they’re going to be a big part of your everyday life. Making sure that the HOA functions well is shockingly important. But we know that with a little bit of persistence, you can find the home of your dreams.
Let us know if you need any help in the home buying process!