Condominium associations and homeowners’ associations have declarations, bylaws, and rules and regulations that must be followed. The law in Florida is that associations must treat each of their homeowners equally. If they do not, the homeowners can assert that the association selectively enforced the rules. Selective enforcement is prohibited.
This brings me to an unfortunate situation in Arizona. Collin Clabaugh is 15 years old and is dealing with the deaths of both of his parents who died weeks apart just a few months ago. He moved into his grandparents’ house, who live within the Willow Creek Homeowners’ Association. This HOA is a 55 and over community, meaning that its residents must be 55 years old or older. The Association has sent a notice to Collin’s grandmother that her grandson must find another place to live because he is younger than 55.
I can’t blame his grandmother for being surprised and disgusted. She said, “We didn’t plan this. We didn’t go out one day and say, ‘Hey, let’s have Clay kill himself, and let’s have Bonnie die, and we’ll take Collin in. And to heck with the HOA. It’s not the way it was planned.”
According to ABC News, the HOA board says that they were only kicking out Collin because it may create legal problems for the Association in the future. This may be an accurate premise. If the Association acts otherwise, other homeowners will argue that it selectively enforced its rules. Collin says that the Association is “heartless.” This may also be true, but legally, the Association may have no other option.
The article also says that the Association is trying to find a reasonable alternative and hopefully this will be the case as the situation is truly unfortunate.