Can an HOA ban jumpers, bouncers, slides, etc. without it being in the
CC&Rs or bylaws? Many HOAs allow owners with children who have
parties and hire jumpers to place in the common area.
Yes, they can be banned. When it comes to the common areas, boards have
the power to regulate activities. They can do so because governing
documents put common areas under HOA control and reducing liability is a
key element of a board's duties.
According to the Consumer
Product Safety Commission, injuries
related to bouncers are on the rise.
They estimate more than 100,000
bouncer related injuries were treated in emergency rooms
from 2003 to
2013, including 12 deaths. The Child
Injury Prevention Alliance noted that inflatable
bouncers can lead to broken bones
concussions and estimate that
hospital emergency visits are now at "more than 30 children a day, or
about one child every 45 minutes."
If an owner holds a bounce party in his own backyard and a child is
injured, the association won't be dragged into the litigation. If the
party is in the common areas, the association can be sued even though it
was the owner's party. Accordingly, boards have an interest in
protecting the association from potential liability related to bouncers.
Associations don't necessarily need a rule banning bouncers since a
list of prohibited activities could be lengthy--no bouncers, no
trampolines, no archery, no weapons, no serving alcohol to minors, no
dangerous activities, etc. In addition to being lengthy, such
restrictions can be difficult to define. Is running across a greenbelt a
dangerous activity and therefore banned? Is using a stick to hit a
pinata a weapon? Even so, a short list of banned activities may be
Associations with common areas that lend themselves to children's
events should talk to legal counsel about how best to limit liability
for such events. That could include insurance and/or
a signed hold harmless/indemnity
agreement. In addition, boards can
adopt a list of the more dangerous activities they wish to
restrict and incorporate it into the reservation agreement so members
will know in advance what they can and cannot do. Boards need to be
cautious how they word restrictions. Otherwise, they could trigger
claims of discrimination
against families with children.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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