Selective Enforcement by an HOA

 "Selective enforcement is when the homeowners’ association enforces a particular rule against only one homeowner, or possibly against a small group of homeowners, but does not enforce that same rule against the entire community." Source:

"By enforcing their own rules unfairly or inconsistently, the HOA has effectively waived their right to enforce the rules at all. " Source:

In Peachtree City, HOA's or Homeowners Associations are very popular. HOA's have the potential to be very helpful in keeping property values higher by promoting consistency in maintaining homes and yards.

But... What happens when your HOA only enforces the covenants on a certain group of homeowners or only enforces certain covenants while other covenant violations are ignored?

This is a situation that one would want to find out prior to buying a home. There are many articles posted by other realtors regarding HOA's and recommendations regarding them. Standard practice is to request a copy of the neighborhood covenants/by laws and review them during your due diligence period. The standard thought is, the potential buyer reads the by laws to determine if there is anything in the by laws that they would not want to comply.

The standard assumption is that the by laws or covenants of a subdivision are being consistently enforced by the HOA.

What if the by laws are not being enforced consistently? 

What if the HOA Board enforces the by laws on homeowners, but not on their own board members?

What if the HOA Board does not disclose existing violations of the bylaws at homes directly adjacent to your new home?

Some potential scenarios:

The by laws state that businesses are not allowed in the residential neighborhood. The buyer would have a reasonable expectation that is being enforced and that there are no businesses in the neighborhood. If the HOA does not disclose that there is a business running out of the house next door to the house that you purchased, do you have any recourse?

What if one of the HOA board members is running a business out of their home even though the bylaws state that no businesses are allowed and no businesses have been disclosed to your buyer?

Due your Due Dilligence, ask questions and require the answers in writing so you have recourse.