Homeowners associations in Alabama must stay informed and comply with state laws to avoid legal trouble. Here is your guide to the Alabama HOA laws that come the most frequently.
Living in an HOA community comes with plenty of benefits, including increased curb appeal and enhanced property values. As such, it is not surprising that many neighborhoods wish to form HOAs as well.
According to the HOA laws of Alabama, community associations must be established and run as non-profit organizations. You must also submit important HOA documents to the Secretary of State. Some of these documents are:
These documents should tackle topics such as mandatory dues payments, board member responsibilities, meeting guidelines, property use restrictions, maintenance requirements, common area use, and accepted communication methods with residents.
It is important to be as detailed as possible when creating these documents. Remember that these are your association’s governing documents — the documents that outline the HOA’s obligation and rights to its members and vice versa, what homeowners can and can’t do, and the guidelines for governance.
Alabama only recently enacted laws to regulate homeowners associations. The Alabama Homeowners Association Act (Alabama Code § 35-20-1 through 35-20-14) governs homeowners associations created on or after January 1, 2016. This chapter controls the creation, management, abilities, and operation of these associations.
The act does not apply to homeowners associations created before January 1, 2016. But, HOAs created before that date can choose to follow the Alabama Homeowners Association Act.
Composed of 14 sections, the Alabama Homeowners Association Act covers a variety of topics, including filing requirements, rulemaking authority, and the formation of the association. It also defines the powers of the board as written in the governing documents of the HOA.
The Act gives the board the ability to suspend the rights of members to use community facilities and impose reasonable fines. Moreover, the Act covers the association’s capacity to place liens for unpaid dues and outlines election notice requirements.
Below, you will find the 14 sections of the Alabama Homeowners Association Act.
There are two acts that cover Alabama HOA laws for condominiums: The Alabama Condominium Ownership Act and the Alabama Uniform Condominium Act of 1991.
The Alabama Condominium Ownership Act (Ala. Code §§ 35-8-1 through 35-8-22) governs condominium associations created before January 1, 1991. This chapter controls the creation, management, abilities, and operation of these associations.
Below, you will find the 22 sections of the Alabama Condominium Ownership Act.
The Alabama Uniform Condominium Act of 1991 (Ala. Code §§ 35-8A-101 through 35-8A-417) governs condominiums created after January 1, 1991. This chapter controls the creation, management, abilities, and operation of these associations. It is worth noting, though, that parts of this act may also relate to condominiums formed prior to January 1, 1991.
Below, you will find the articles and sections of the Alabama Uniform Condominium Act of 1991.
The Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Law (Ala. Code §§ 10A-3-1.01 — 10A-3-8.02) addresses the corporate procedure and structure of non-profit corporations, which homeowners associations formed after January 1, 2016 fall under. Condominiums, on the other hand, can either be non-profit or for-profit corporations.
Below, you will find the articles and sections of the Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Law.
The Alabama HOA laws on Fair Housing (Ala. Code §§ 24-8-1, et. seq.) protects homeowners and potential homeowners from discrimination. Homeowners associations must not discriminate against members based on their race, color, sex, religion, familial status, national origin, or handicap. Alabama’s Fair Housing laws operate similarly to the federal Fair Housing Act.
Anyone who feels that they have been discriminated against can file a complaint with the ADECA. They can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Keep in mind that victims must file within 1 year from the date when the discriminatory act took place.
Alternatively, victims can choose to take private legal action against the discriminatory party in the federal district court. In that case, victims must file within 2 years from the date when the discriminatory act took place.
The Alabama Rights of Blind and Otherwise Physically Disabled Persons protects residents with disabilities against discrimination. It is similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act. This Act only extends to public accommodations, though, such as the common areas of a homeowners association.
Under Alabama HOA laws, associations must allow a disabled person’s specially trained dog into any common facility or space. Homeowners associations also cannot charge extra fees to accommodate a disabled person’s service animal. That said, the owner will shoulder responsibility and liability for any damage or injury inflicted by their service animal.