Buying a house in a community managed by a homeowners association (HOA) should protect your rights, not infringe upon them. The HOA has rules that they should enforce uniformly for residents to maintain property values and provide the best experience for all community members.
It is common for HOA communities to invest in community facilities that benefit all of the local homeowners. A small indoor gym or pool facilities are examples of shared HOA amenities that can make a community that much more enjoyable.
Is it legal or appropriate for the HOA to deny the access of certain people to community amenities, like a pool?
In some situations, an HOA can place limits
Whether there is a park, an indoor exercise facility or a pool managed by your HOA, residents should be subject to the same rules and restrictions regarding the use of those facilities. For example, if only adults can use exercise equipment, the HOA should enforce that rule for everyone.
However, in some cases, an HOA can limit the rights of specific community members. If the HOA has rules against those with certain criminal convictions from accessing community amenities, they can enforce that rule for the protection of the broader community. It is also legal and appropriate for an HOA to limit the amenity access of residents and homeowners who have fallen behind on their HOA fees.
However, the uneven application of rules could lead to claims by residents and property owners of discrimination. Recently, an HOA member has gone viral for her seemingly racist refusal to let specific children access the community cool. When the child refused to follow her instructions, she physically restrained the child, an act that has resulted in criminal assault charges.
Only universally enforced HOA rules or those that are clear financial penalties are appropriate reasons to limit individual access to community amenities.
Homeowners can stand up to an abusive HOA
There are some people who will let any tiny amount of personal power or authority go to their heads. They may misuse their power to abuse others or target specific individuals because of personal prejudice or a grudge.
Knowing your rights when you live in an HOA community can help you stand up against inappropriate treatment.