Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Massachusetts

We live in a townhouse HOA community. We have been here for 21 years owning 3 cars the entire time. When we moved in the rules were 2 DEEDED spots in front of unit and the rest of the spots were unmarked and first come first serve by visitors and residents alike. 5 years ago the HOA painted visitor signs on extra spots and left them as first come first serve. Fast forward to a few months ago when we started getting fined for parking in a marked visitor spots as residents aren't allowed to do so according to the new rules and regulations. We haven't been warned or fined one time for parking in the visitor spot for 21 years. How can they all of a sudden tell us we can't use that spot as we have been for 21 years? We've been racking up fines. I fought it and the board came back with "we can't offer you an additional parking spot at this time". So I've been parking way down the street at a neighbor's house that has only one car. PLENTY of people over the years (including current board members who shot down my appeal) have utilized visitor spots with their 3rd cars and were never fined. How can they enforce after 21 years a new rule that we obviously didn't agree to when we moved in?

Asked on 9/17/23, 5:51 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

There are lots of questions posted here about crazy HOA rules and actions by the Board which make no sense. Unfortunately the only way to get legal advice is if a lawyer looks at the HOA documents and gets the facts from you over the phone. Generally speaking the HOA has a lot of authority to regulate your private community; this is common all across the US. They can't act arbitrarily or against the HOA rules and state law, but otherwise the courts will generally agree with the HOA so long as they're not applying rules specifically against you. Can you get yourself elected to the Board?

Good luck.

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Answered on 9/18/23, 4:05 pm

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