Any HOA can have its rules and bylaws that are designed to ensure that the homeowners are safe, maintain the value of the development, and preserve happiness and peace in the neighborhood.

Remember that HOA members may already understand the governing documents of their community, so they can know the rules that specify exactly what homeowners can or cannot do.

Therefore, these rules can state where you can store the bins, the type of pets you can have, and even whether you can operate a business within your home. Every member of the association needs to follow these rules and bylaws, and the board is supposed to enforce these rules. But there can be conflict in the community if these rules are not enforced regularly.

So is selective enforcement illegal? Well, this article discusses what you need to know about HOA selective enforcement.

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Understanding selective enforcement

Selective enforcement refers to the time when the association of homeowners enforces a certain rule to some homeowners, but not all of them. For example, there can be three people keeping pets in their backyards, but only one homeowner gets a violation letter. When this happens, it’s called selective enforcement.

Likewise, the homeowners association can decide to enforce some rules and not all the rules that are stated in the governing documents, so this can also be another type of selective enforcement.

Selective enforcement tends to be a common issue when it comes to HOAs. Therefore, it’s crucial for the board to always attempt to correct this issue immediately it comes up because it can cause legal problems and unnecessary expenses.

There are some states that have homeowners who successfully used selective enforcement defense, making it more difficult for the board to encourage other homeowners to follow some of their rules.

The reasons why HOAs use selective enforcement

There are good chances that some associations can use selective enforcement without even knowing it. The board of directors of the association can enforce the rules once there is a reported violation rather than have someone do routine inspections in the community to enforce the rules.

Therefore, the enforcement patterns tend to depend on whether the members of the association report violations regularly.

If there is at least one or two people who usually report to the board when any rule is broken, it means there are less chances that all the rules can routinely and fairly be enforced.

As a result, homeowners cannot know that these rules are not being handled evenly until they get reprimanded for breaking them. They may realize that another homeowner was in the same situation, but was not reprimanded.

In some cases, there can be new board members who may think that the previous board wasn’t strict when it comes to rule enforcement.

Therefore, they can sometimes make efforts to do their duties and obligations. The board can be doing the proper thing doing this, but some homeowners can question why they are experiencing problems for doing the same thing that they have been doing before.