Registered Sex Offenders and HOAs

Question: In a recent column you said that an HOA can prohibit registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) from owning homes in a community. Our Chandler community only has 80 homes, but a recent search of the official police website showed that two RSOs own homes in our community. We want to amend our CC&Rs to at least prevent these two RSOs from using the swimming pool and clubhouse owned by our HOA. Is that amendment allowed? In addition, if we do amend our CC&Rs to prohibit RSOs from owning homes in our community, can we then require that the two RSOs move out of our community?

Answer: First, the common areas owned by HOAs generally include not only the swimming pools and clubhouses, but also the roads. Ownership of a home includes the right of access to the roads, so any amendment of your CC&Rs to prohibit the use of common areas by a RSO should be limited to common areas such as the swimming pool and the clubhouse. Second, although your HOA can amend the CC&Rs to prohibit ownership of homes by RSOs, your HOA probably cannot require the two RSOs that already own homes in your community now to sell their homes and move out. CC&Rs are generally prospective only, i.e., apply only to future homeowners. For example, CC&Rs can be amended to prohibit leasing of homes by homeowners in the community, but existing leases of homes by homeowners in the community generally have grandfather rights, and existing leases are therefore generally allowed until expiration of the term of the lease.

Here is the link to the related column above.

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