Thank you for your question.
Restricting an owner’s ability to rent his property in a HOA is a topic of much discussion and debate. The rational behind a HOA’s ability to restrict rental activity within an HOA is rooted in the ability to amend the HOA’s restrictive covenants to add further
restrictions binding the property. When an owner purchases a lot within an HOA, the owner is deemed to have been placed on notice that the HOA is a deed-restricted community subject to restrictive covenants, so long as restrictive covenants have been duly recorded with the county recorder in which the lot is located.
The vast majority of restrictive covenants contain an amendment provision, which would allow owners within the HOA to delete, alter, or add restrictive covenants. If restrictive covenants contain provisions that allow owners to delete, alter or add restrictive covenants, all current and future owners will be bound by any deletion, alteration or addition to the restrictive covenants, so long as the provisions of the amendment provision are met and the
amendment is uniformly applied to all owners.
If a HOA’s Declaration/Bylaw/Articles of Incorporation have a provision that allows them to be amended to add further restrictions on the property, then this fact places all current and future owners on notice that the CC&Rs may change, subsequent to his purchase of a lot, to add or remove restrictions placed on his property and as such, owners have no argument concerning a valid rental restriction imposed through a valid amendment to the Controlling Documents.
So the first thing you need to do to is look at the HOA's Declaration/Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation (i.e., the Controlling Documents) to determine whether the HOA has the power to make these restrictions.
If the documents show that the HOA does have this power, then you do not have any legal remedies, as the law in Maryland allows the HOA to make these sort of changes if they are originally empowered to do so through the Controlling Documents.
If the HOA does not have the power to make these changes as stated in the Controlling Documents then you could sue the HOA for a declaratory judgment
to have the restrictions declared null and void.
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