HOA laws

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

HOA laws

Hi. I live in a small neighborhood it is 2 streets with only 12 homes. Both streets are private and are maintained by the HOA. We have a sidewalk that spans the length of only three homes on 1 small section of the neighborhood. I now have a neighbor who is throwing a fit saying that I am blocking the sidewalk by parking in my driveway, causing her to have to walk around the tail end of my car. She is trying to get the HOA to fine me for doing this. Our HOA bylaws define Common area as including sidewalks and states ‘Every Lot Owner shall have a right and easement of enjoyment in and to the Common Area…’ am I in the wrong here? I mean, it’s my DRIVEWAY and she doesn’t even have to leave the pavement to walk around the tail end of my car. She is harassing the HOA board every few days with her complaint after being told to stop. I have not been able to find any kind of law that I am breaking and the HOA bylaws are so vague, it’s hard to determine whether I am breaking any of them either.

Asked on August 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An "easement" is the right to use property for some specific purpose--e.g. to walk on or through to get from point A to point B. An easement does not preclude other people's use of the property or space, so long as such other use does not itself preclude reasonable use by easement-holders. A car protruding onto a sidewalk could indeed be a violaiton of the easement, if it is so far onto it as to impact ordinary and common access through or use of the sidewalk, such as a stroller, children's bicycles (when they are of the age to ride on the sidewalk, not road), an elderly or disabled person's use of a walker, etc. So if the car is enough on the sidewalk that you could not use the sidewalk there for many of the common uses thereof, then you would be violating the easement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption