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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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Can a deed restriction be valid if it does not comply with

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Can a deed restriction be valid if it does not comply with state law. Our HOA claims that only licensed drivers can operate a golf cart in our community. Since State law(Delaware) does not require a license ,how can this be?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

An HOA CAN have rules that or more restrictive than state law. So long as the rules do not violate local/state or federal law? They rules can be enforced.

Example: Say there is an HOA that has a rule that prohibits persons of a particular national origin from painting their home or garage a particular color? That would violate federal anti discrimination laws, so the rule would be invalid.

But say that the HOA has a rule that specifies what color a home or garage can be painted and this rule applies to all HOA members. And say there is no such rule in the local community or state? Since that rule would not violate state or federal law, it can be enforced.

The circumstance you describe is more like the latter than the former example. The state of Delaware may not require a drivers license for a golf cart...but there is no state or federal that specifically states that regulation of driving on private property is prohibited. In other words, there is no law that states an HOA can not regulate vehicles on its property

So the HOA rule requiring a license may be more restrictive than state law...but it would not violate state or federal law.

So if the rule is adopted by the HOA and applied equally (to all persons who are in the HOA), it would be enforceable.

I am sorry to have to bear bad news

Please let me know if you have more questions, happy to help if I can

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