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Architectural Review Committee Questions

What is a Architectural Review Committee?

An architectural review committee or ARC is a type of committee that is responsible for reviewing and approving all proposed exterior improvements to a person’s property/dwelling as well as any common elements when the home is involved in a HOA (Home Owners Association). The committee is set up to maintain the integrity, architecture and uniformity of the property and they reserve the right to make any and all final decisions regarding any homeowner’s request for improvement or change to any properties.

How would a person fight an architectural review committee decision regarding extra plants, when the homeowner doesn’t think there is a need for the plants?

When a person is dealing with a architectural review committee, they have a large latitude in regards to the looks of a property. The ARC has the right to allow or disallow things, making the homeowner responsible for maintaining the property according to the regulations that the HOA ARC decides. If the homeowner is required to maintain the property at a cost to them, then the homeowner accepts that when they buy into a HOA community.

If a homeowner wants to move from a HOA property due to the exposure of the issues that they had with the ARC and the seller of the home did not disclose the drainage issues of the community?

The person can try and sue the seller of the home for the misrepresentation of the home. If the ARC is violating their duty and the board chooses to ignore it, the person can pursue a claim through the council for breach of fiduciary duty.

If a person has a rental townhome in Florida’s historic district, the ARC does not allow satellite dishes but a person installed one anyways and does not break any of the ARC’s rules, can the ARC make the person take the dish down?

The ARC has the right since the HOA is located in the Florida historic district, to restrict the looks and things that are associated with the homes according to the historical district rules as well. The owner would need to look up the historical district codes for their area to see if there is a exemption that they would fall under and if so then taking the issue to court may be the best thing for the person to do, but if they don’t then the homeowner would need to remove the dish to follow the laws.

If a person’s neighbor builds a fence on their property line that crosses the line into the neighbor’s line, does the neighbor have to notify the neighbor before stepping onto the other person’s property line and does the ARC have any say in the issue?

If the fence is built with the ARC’S approval, then the person can pursue the situation as a trespass action due to the fact that the neighbor is coming onto the property without permission. The person would need to check with the city department and with the ARC to see if there is anything that can be done to remove the fence or at least move the fence over so that the workers would not be on the property without permission.

When a person buys a home in a home owner’s association, then they have to deal with the HOA’s architectural review committee, their guidelines, rules and laws. When the rules and regulations that the ARC comes get confusing for the homeowners, it is best to ask an expert and inform yourself of your and ARC's rights.
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