Take Responsibility for Your Guests When You Live in an HOA

Here is a question about taking responsibility for the actions of guests.

“I live in a beautiful gated community in [_______].  I had one quick question.  Is it legal for HOAs to fine a homeowner if one of their guests is caught speeding in the neighborhood; by a security guard, not a legal law enforcement officer?  I was told that I am responsible for all my guests who enter into our community.  But how can I control if they speed or not when I’m not even in the car with them?”

This is an easy one. An owner is responsible for the actions of his or her tenants, visitors, guests, and service vendors the owner invites (or does not invite but attracts) whether the owner is present or not when the violation occurs. It is the responsibility of owner to talk to any persons who are coming to the development to visit the owner or live in their home and tell them not to break the rules. If the “friends” do not listen, don’t invite them back.

That said, there should be a fair hearing process in place before the board fines any owner. It’s also the law in California. And once a hearing has been noticed, held and a proper decision provided to owner, then the owner should definitely tell their guests in the future to follow the rules.

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4 Responses to Take Responsibility for Your Guests When You Live in an HOA
  1. jan wolve
    March 17, 2015 | 5:04 am

    if a board member owns multiple units, do they (as a board of director, not homeowner) get multiple ‘board of director’ votes ??

  2. Kathleen Palacios
    April 13, 2015 | 11:09 pm

    We are trying to sell our condo.
    The buyer is asking for last 12 months of minutes.
    The description the board used in the minutes for different things that took place wasn’t always correct.
    How do you rectify to your buyer and get to the point in minutes without going into detail about unruly tenant when you didn’t really see him do something but you know it was him,
    Could this bring down our property value, which could be hard to sell now
    Thank You
    Kathleen Palaicos


    • Beth Grimm
      June 8, 2015 | 3:25 am

      You do not have the right to change minutes nor restate to any buyer what really happened and that the minutes are incorrect. They are the official record of the association. You will, however, have to disclose any material issue with the property under the real estate laws. For purposes of disclosing HOA minutes, the duty does not extend beyond supplying what the board approved as final minutes.

      As for an unruly tenant, I would have to know more to answer the rest of the questions.