Can an HOA Deny a Buyer the Purchase of a Home?
Many communities including some on Sanibel Island have homeowners’ associations (HOA). HOA associations are very helpful in a majority of situations to retain a quality of atmosphere within the community. But there have been some not-so-pleasant situations regarding these associations as well.
In some communities, HOAs will ask to screen residents before a sale can be closed on a property in the community but it can be rare. Florida is actually a state where this happens more frequently than other locations. If an HOA has a screening process, it must openly communicate it and state it within the HOA bylaws.
Does an HOA have the right to block a buyer from purchasing a property?
In some locations where screening processes are in place, an HOA can have the authority to turn down a real estate buying process. However, they need to have a good reason to do so and plenty of proof to back it up.
Three of the biggest reasons an HOA might deny a buyer
An HOA is not able to deny a buyer the ability to purchase a property for items like their past criminal history, their current job status, or whether they have ever filed for bankruptcy. These items count as discrimination. They can however deny a buyer the ability to purchase a property in the community if they have lied or left out asked about information about themselves on an application. If they find out you have lied and can prove it, they are within their rights to deny your ability to purchase a property in the community. It is always best to be open and honest on your application.
If there is an obvious factor in the buyer’s application that is outside of the HOA rules, the HOA can deny the buyer the ability to purchase a property in the community. Many times, this happens when the buyer has pets that are outside the current CC&Rs regarding pets. In order to purchase a home in the community, the buyer would need to agree to rehome their furry friends. This most often happens in condo communities where it is easy to notice a neighbor’s pets or hear them through shared walls.
The easiest way to avoid this unfortunate experience is to make sure you look at the community’s policy regarding living with pets.
Any prior violation of rules
If a person has previously lived within the community in another home or maybe they were renting a property from another owner in the community and are now considering purchasing a new property or buying a property and previously neglected to adhere to rules this can put them in a sticky situation. The HOA could be very reluctant to grant you the ability to become a homeowner in the community or purchase a different property.
When purchasing a home in a community with an HOA that requires a screening process is not about whether the HOA likes you as a person. An HOA is not allowed to be discriminatory but they do have some rights in discerning future property buyers. This is why it is a very good idea to make sure you do as much homework as possible on an HOA in a community to make sure that you will like living within the community and working in harmony with the HOA.
For more information on purchasing a home on Sanibel or Captiva Island please contact us anytime.