A disciplinary hearing was held in executive session after a complaint
was made by one homeowner against another. It was determined the second
owner had violated the CC&Rs and he was directed to make
disciplined owner put the board's decision on Nextdoor.com and included
the name of the person who made the complaint. An uproar spread through
the community with people taking sides and some asserting the board
should disregard the CC&R restriction. Did
the disciplined owner have the right to tell others about the decision?
Did he violate the rights of the owner who made the complaint?
: When it comes to disciplinary actions, boards have an obligation to keep
such matters confidential. Recipients of the discipline, however, do
not. That means your scofflaw has the right to tell everyone about his
violation, who turned him in, and the board's decision. Once he did so,
he waived his right to confidentiality and the board can publicly
discuss the matter.
. Even though some homeowners want you to disregard enforcement of the restriction, you
can't. It's one of your
as directors to uphold the
governing documents. Most owners like and respect recorded restrictions
because they protect property values. That's why they buy into common
interest developments. Others, unfortunately, can't stand restrictions.
When they move into an association, they cause grief for neighbors and
boards alike. It sounds like you have one of those.
: If the restriction in question is sufficiently unpopular, the membership can amend the CC&Rs
to remove it. Your
board should talk to legal counsel about whether it can or should be
amended. That could lead to an informal poll of the community. If there
is strong support for modifying or eliminating the restriction, legal
counsel can prepare an amendment for membership approval. On the other
hand, if there is strong support for keeping the restriction, your
scofflaw can no longer rail against his neighbor and the board since the
membership has affirmed its support for the restriction.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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