What are my legal options on this if I feel that I have been unfairly targeted by my HOA?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2015

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What are my legal options on this if I feel that I have been unfairly targeted by my HOA?

I was recently cited a $50 fine by my homeowner’s association for leaving one bag of garbage outside the garbage can I use that did not fit. They said it was agianst howmoeners policy. However, about half of my neighbors also have doing this this a reguular and steady basis. They (the HOA) can not provide me any evidence that they have also been fined. I took many pictures of other homes and PO boxes to support my claim but the manager was very smug and says I must pay the fine since that’s what the convenants for the HOA say.

Asked on July 6, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

IF the covenants say that you have to package the garbage in a specific way, then they can fine you under it, and the fact they did not fine other residents is irrelevant (the law does not prevent them from enforcing a covenant against A unless they also enforced it against B, C, D, E, etc.)--unless you believe you were targeted due to a protected characteristic, such as your race or religion. Then, in theory, you may have a housnig discrimination claim; the reason I write "in theory" is that it is essentially impossible to believe that a $50 fine is worth suing over, since you could spend more time and money on the suit than you would recover.

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