Posted By: Ejola Cook
We live in South Florida in a gated community. Recently we installed a retractable screen just beyond our double front doors. We were not aware we had to apply to the Architectural Control Board for permission to put this type of screen up. We were notified we had to put in an after the fact application and there would be a $50 fee. We did so and took it to the meeting of this ACB and were told they would let us know. Since it is the only one of its kind in the community the ACB said we must remove it. This screen is invisible when not in use and is also considered a “green item” as it is UV protected and affords us the option of getting a cross breeze (therefore cutting down on air conditioning and also lights as the house is otherwise very dark. We want to know if we should pursue this legally? Thanks
How frustrating, when you have invested in something that improves your home, only to be told by in essence your neighbors you could not have it.
It is hard for me to answer your question in detail, because a lot depends on what your rules and regulations say. Living in a HOA deeded community you are beholden to the rules that you agreed to when you moved in. You may find in your rules that there is an appeals process. I know that in some HOAs allow for the neighbors of the unit (if townhomes) to sign an agreement to allow a waiver of the outdoor guidelines.
Unfortunately, I do not really think you have grounds for a lawsuit. You agreed to the community rules when you moved in, and while regrettable that you did not have the opportunity to seek approval prior to spending your money, the community is really only following its rules.