Public Nudity
Adams Stirling PLC
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PUBLIC NUDITY

QUESTION:  Can associations ban nudity in exclusive use common areas and inside units?

ANSWER:  A blanket prohibition against nudity often raises questions about nude sunbathing on private balconies, and nudity in units.

1. Common Areas.Most owners readily agree with prohibitions against nudity in the common areas. Such prohibitions are frequently added to the Rules & Regulations after complaints about nudity in or around the pool and spa.

2.  Balconies. Exclusive use common areas are different. If a balcony or patio cannot be viewed from other units or public areas and the resident wants to sunbathe without clothing, they should be allowed to do so. If the balcony is subject to viewing by other balconies (usually the case where condominiums are stacked) then nude sunbathing would be improper. If, however, the neighbor must stand on a table and peer over a fence to see the sunbather, that is not considered "public viewing" but rather an invasion of privacy. Similarly, if the balcony is completely private but the sunbather stands up and makes a public display of his/her nudity, that would also be a misdemeanor. Accordingly, the police could be called. In addition, the person fined by the board following due process.

3.  Inside Units. The same principle applies to nudity inside units. No one should care about nudity inside a unit, unless the person opens the drapes and stands in the window for the entire world to see. Such behavior is unsuitable and can be fined even though it occurred inside the owner's unit.

Recommendation: If boards wish to adopt a rule, they should not prohibit "nudity" but rather "public displays of nudity."

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC