DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW: Delay Causes Loss for HOA in Lawsuit Over House Color
By Marc A. Smiley
February 12, 2018
Many HOAs require the prior review and approval of proposed house colors by architectural review committees, which are typically overseen by three parcel owners who are not also members of the association’s board of directors.
However, many associations’ governing documents also include provisions to limit the power of the association to take action against color changes and other architectural modifications in perpetuity. Their declarations of covenants hold that new colors and other unapproved modifications will be deemed to be approved if they are not challenged by the association within a set period of time (typically one year).
A recent ruling by the Appellate Division of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Hillsborough County confirmed that such requirements for community associations to act within a set timeframe will be strictly construed and applied by Florida’s courts. In the case of Lamar v. Wheeler’s Landing Homeowners’ Association, the appellate division court reversed the trial court’s judgment and ruled in favor of the homeowner after interpreting that the HOA’s declaration provides for automatic approval after 12 months of the color change. Read more: