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Can homeowners’ associations evict members?

Disputes between homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and their members are relatively common. Often an HOA will have to take the step to evict a homeowner, and given the proper preparations, they may do so.

What are the right conditions for evicting a member from an HOA?

The eviction of a homeowner from an HOA largely depends on the rules of the HOA itself. An HOA may define its bylaws and regulations in whatever manner it sees fit, whenever it wishes, and one of those rules may be the right to evict homeowners.

The eviction process for HOA members relies on some of the basics of real estate law, specifically liens. The typical scenario is:

  1. A homeowner has debts to the association that it cannot or will not pay
  2. The HOA places a lien on the home to ensure collection of those debts
  3. The HOA and homeowner go through the foreclosure process

While each state’s lien and foreclosure processes vary, the above steps are general guidelines. If you seek to evict a homeowner in your HOA, speaking with an attorney familiar with HOA law in your state would be wise.

How would a homeowner become indebted to the HOA?

As HOAs can define its rules as it sees fits, the vast majority of HOAs will institute fines for various violations. While some violations might seem small for an outside observer, HOA members define HOA rules. If trashcan placement is a rule, then it stands to reason that most members agree on the rule.

If a person were to violate these rules, they would be subject to fines. If that person cannot pay said fines, they would eventually become indebted to the HOA.

Foreclosure processes and litigation

It is far from assured that once foreclosure processes begin that the individual would be evicted from the HOA. There are opportunities for homeowners to defend themselves. However, if an HOA does wish to evict a homeowner, it has ample opportunity and ability to do so.