HOAs have the right to regulate their communities, but does that mean they have the right to ban sex offenders? Nobody wants a sex offender in their back yard, but there are both pros and cons to banning sex offenders.
Can You Ban Sex Offenders from Your HOA?
Banning sex offenders from your HOA is difficult, and your state may not allow it. For example, in Minnesota, as long as a sex offender is following the laws by avoiding children and registering, there isn’t much the association can do to ban them. However, in Florida, as long as the association’s governing documents declare that no convicted felon can live there, they can ban sex offenders within their neighborhood.
Unfortunately, enforcing the ban is the more difficult part. It may not be possible to ban a sex offender from buying property in the neighborhood and then renting it out, or the sex offender may not have registered, so there would be no way of knowing.
If it’s decided to ban sex offenders from the community, there are some risks to consider. For starters, it may give residents a false sense of security and put them at risk. In addition, at some point, a sex offender may challenge the ban, taking you to court and costing you money. Similarly, if you declare your HOA is declared free of sex offenders and one does move in and harass someone, there is an increased risk of being sued
If you choose not to Ban Sex Offenders from Your HOA
Of course, you also have the right to allow sex offenders into your neighborhood. This ensures you aren’t breaking a law by banning them, giving a false sense of security or being put at risk of a lawsuit.
There are neighborhood safety issues to consider if it’s decided to allow a sex offender into the neighborhood, so residents will want to know about the new resident. However, it isn’t only the non sex offender residents that need to be worried about. Your state may have a law against harassing sex offenders, so you’ll have to ensure they are protected too.
While it may seem like the obvious choice to ban sex offenders from your HOA, it actually has pros and cons. Weigh them out before making your decision
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