Can an HOA tell a homeowner not to garden?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes |

Home gardens are trending. Environmental advocates, parents who are tired of rising grocery costs and millions of other people throughout the country are learning to grow their own food. In Florida and most other states, more than 80% of new home construction takes place in communities that are governed by Homeowners Associations. These two issues — gardening and HOA oversight, don’t always intersect well.  

There’s a man in another state who is currently entangled in a legal battle against the HOA that governs his neighborhood. It all started in 2021, when many people were working from home. He wanted to find a way to pass the time, and so he started a garden, which began to thrive and delighted his neighbors. However, HOA officials sent him a cease-and-desist notice, and also demanded that he remove the garden plants already there. 

Homeowner chose the community because of HOA rules 

The homeowner in question said he specifically chose his home to buy because the HOA rules in effect did not prohibit gardening. He says he feels sorry for people who encounter similar legal problems and do not have the time, energy or funds to fight back. He, however, has hired an attorney, who recommended that he disregard the notices he has received. The HOA has threatened to hire a company to remove the landscaping at the homeowner’s expense. 

Real estate law involving HOA issues can be difficult to resolve. Like the homeowner in the garden case, it is always best to seek legal guidance before trying to resolve legal problems with a community’s governing officials. A careful review of an HOA contract may be all that is needed to resolve some issues. Others may require litigation.  


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