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Albert Marmero
Albert Marmero,
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  Partner at Long, Marmero, & Associates, LLP
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In Tennessee, A homeowner purchased a home on a lake with a

Customer Question

In Tennessee, A homeowner purchased a home on a lake with a Dock. The Dock owners Association licensed the use of that dock along with the road & boat ramp to the water owned and maintained by the same Dock Owners Association. There is an annual Dock Owners Association Fee to all dock owners set at $500 per year. The homeowner had full knowledge regarding the Association and it's license to the dock, road and ramp when he purchased the home with the dock in 2014. He also signed at closing a licensing document for that dock.
Now that the dock owner/ homeowner has placed his boat in the dock and has access to the dock, road and boat ramp, he now has decided he no longer wants to pay the $500/ year and has written that he now wants to withdraw from the Association. He continues today to use the dock, road, and ramp which is still all a part of the "Association" and enjoy all the benefits of the "Association".
1) Can the Owner legally withdraw from the Association without first Selling his property and moving out of the neighbor?
2) If He really wants to withdraw from the association can the "Association now take back all of his rights and privileges to the DOCK, ROAD, and Boat Ramp that he still continues to use today?
NOTE: The covenants & restrictions clearly state that you must first be a homeowner in the neighborhood & pay the annual dues to ever have any access to the docks, road, or boat ramp.
Please advise.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Albert Marmero replied 4 months ago.

Without reviewing the documents, it is difficult to give a complete response. However, based on what you tell me, and based on my experience as an attorney who has represented community associations and those in disputes with associations, I can give you general guidance.

As to question #1, I would imagine the owner is permitted to withdraw from the dock owner's association without selling the home and/or moving out. I have seen situations where there are extra amenities in a community which owners can choose to be, or not be, a part of.

But as to question #2, there are certainly consequences to the decision to withdraw from the dock owner's association, which would include a loss of any benefits that come with this membership. Here it would seem those privileges would include use of the road, ramp, and dock. Also, from what you tell me, it sounds like the community documents are clear in that dues must be paid in order to access the docks. In situations like this, generally a letter would be issued warning that privileges will be revoked on a certain date of this situation is not rectified.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please provide a rating so I receive credit for responding to you. Also please feel free to ask follow up questions, or upload any community documents it you would like me to review them. Thanks!

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