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HOA changes color scheme and it’s a mess

Q: (I am) writing this after reading (your) article about homeowners associations requesting a house be painted after three years. I live in a very nice community where the HOA has drastically changed the paint schemes in our community. I have had issue with this since I found out about changes and believed them when they said it was legally changed with an executive board meeting where two board members motioned and seconded the change.

Come to find out, years later, there is a provision in covenants, conditions and restrictions that requires a 67 percent of homeowners’ written permission to change, “by act or omission change, waive or abandon any scheme of regulations, or enforcement thereof, pertaining to the architectural design, the exterior appearance or the maintenance of the lots in the association property.” Taken directly from our CC&Rs. My community looks like a mix-matched group of $600,000 houses. I want the community I bought into, not this mixed-matched messed-up community in which I now reside. Help, what are my options? Do I have recourse? Please advise or recommend action.

A: This maybe one of those fine-line responses. Do the changes in the color scheme constitute a substantial architectural change of the community requiring the approval of the homeowners? Does exterior appearance mean contractual changes as opposed to cosmetic changes of color?

For many associations, the original paint scheme is not available any more. The paint colors simply don’t exist, and more “modern” colors have come to replace the older ones. Even if this is the case with your association, there should be some consistency of colors for the residents to prevent the mixed-match mess-up.

As to my questions that started this article, I don’t have the answer. The association would need legal counsel to interpret their covenants.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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