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Do HOAs Have Police Powers?

People who live in neighborhood controlled by a homeowners association are used to living under certain restrictions. HOAs often have rules regarding fence installation, exterior paint colors and even upkeep of property. Imagine, though, the surprise a resident in Arizona experienced when he received a letter from his HOA warning him of impending fines for any subsequent speeding offenses.

According to reports, a man in East Valley received a letter from his HOA. The letter said that he was caught traveling 37 mph in a 35 mph zone. The letter also contained photos of his vehicle. While the letter was just a warning, it contained a very clear threat: Any subsequent occurrences of speeding would result in a fine.

A local news station caught wind of the story and conducted an investigation into just what powers an HOA has over its residence. What they found may be an eye-opener to some. Many HOAs preside over neighborhoods with privately-owned streets, meaning that local law enforcement doesn’t conduct patrols. These HOAs typically have “patrol offices” who keep an eye on the streets. They have every right to enforce traffic laws in the neighborhood.

A lawyer did point out, however, that while being issued a citation by the HOA is a legal occurrence, and the fine associated with it must be paid, the citation has no effect on a person’s driver’s license. The only “trouble” a person can get into is with the HOA.

If you have received a citation in New York, you have the right to fight it and we are here to help you. Reach out to our office today to schedule a consultation.