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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38910
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I live in Virginia; I own my own home. The home

Customer Question

I live in Virginia; I own my own home. The home is located in an HOA. When we built the home, my elderly mother lived with us, in an in-law apartment which we built for her.
She is now deceased for three years. We have owned the house since 2008. Economic conditions now dictate that we must rent the apartment. We began renting last year. We have had three renters, one for six months and one for 3 months with the aparment being vacant for two months, a third tenant has just moved in. Each tenant was in for less than 12 months, and have had an extremely low impact on the neighborhood, a car on the street. Nobody was ever home. The HOA is now saying that we can not do this. Where do they get off telling me what I can and cannot do in my own home. I am not breaking the law, nor are my renters. The HOA does not have a command of the facts, of the who what where and when and they are extremely irritating. This area is just now recovering from being upside down with the housing crisis in 2008. This Outfit hasn't said a word until now, however they don't seem to like anybody or anything, girl scouts, trampolines, play houses whatever it is. I have had to take them on before and have won, they are capricious and vindictive in enforcing the covenants to my mind's eye.
Can you offer any advice?
Sincerely, *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, This issue largely devolves into a question of the covenants, bylaws and rules of the HOA. If the governing instruments prohibit renting, then the HOA can prohibit your renting the property. There are several legal defenses to the HOA's authority: abandonment, waiver and estoppel. Abandonment occurs where the HOA permits a condition in the community to persist until the character of the entire community is changed to reflect the permitted condition. Waiver occurs where the HOA voluntarily relinquishes its right to enforce a covenant or rule. Estoppel occurs where the HOA permits you to create the condition, and you expend resources in your efforts, in reliance upon the HOA's permission, express or implied. In sum, you must first determine what the governing instruments state concerning renting properties in the community. If there is no express covenant or rule, then the HOA cannot stop you from renting. If there is a rule, then you have the option to either try to work within the scope of the rule; get the HOA to voluntarily waive the rule; or prepare to fight in court or arbitration based upon an abandonment, waiver or estoppel defense. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using!
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?
If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using!

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