Is There A Limitation on Time for Enforcing CC&Rs in an HOA or Condo?

I often get asked whether there is a limit on time that an HOA or condo board has that they can enforce a CC&R restriction. It usually comes in the form of a question like this: “I have had my birdhouses hanging on my front porch for more than 10 years and I just got a letter saying they are a nuisance and I have to take them down. Is that true? Can they force me to do that?”

The answer is like the new movie coming out Christmas Day … “It’s complicated.”

There are several factors, among which is a legal limitation in the California Code of 5 years. However, there are things that can extend, shorten, or otherwise come into play. Others include consistent treatment, definition of nuisance, CC&R provisions and what exactly they say, and board control over common area, including, in many ways, exclusive use common area.

For more on this topic, I just published a free E-Newsletter and it is available in the archives at the Condo Guru site. And, there is a series of 5 Primers on Enforcement available in the webstore on the site, one includes forms.

Happy reading!

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2 Responses to Is There A Limitation on Time for Enforcing CC&Rs in an HOA or Condo?
  1. ariel
    January 15, 2010 | 5:26 am

    I have somewhat a similar question. I purchased my condo back in 1997 and with it comes a designated car port. In 2004, the annual HOA meeting it was voted to re arranged the car port and my used to be a good spot is not the worst spot. Is that legal?

    • Beth Grimm
      January 16, 2010 | 9:21 pm

      Good question. It really depends on what the association regulatory documents and owner’s deeds say, and how any statute of limitations (time sometimes bars complaints) may or may not apply in your state.