Some communities have guests who are regular guests of an owner or tenant and violate the governing documents, or sometimes even violate the law by committing criminal acts. In such situations, gated communities, which have a guard 24/7 and can regulate access into the community, have asked whether their association can ban a guest and the guest’s vehicle from entering the community. If the guest is violating a provision of the association’s governing documents, and if the association follows the proper procedures, then banning a guest is permitted.
Section 720.305 of the Homeowners’ Association Act (“HOA Act”) provides that each member and their guests must comply with the association’s governing documents as well as the Statute. If the guest fails to do so, the Association has the right to take action against the member and the guest. This does not just include the right to sue, the association can suspend the right of a guest to use the common areas and facilities.
While an association cannot ban an owner or tenant from accessing their home, it does not prohibit an association from banning a guest from coming into the community. Therefore, an association can ban a guest from the community, for a reasonable period of time, if it follows the procedures for suspending use rights set forth in the HOA Act. Keep in mind that if the association’s governing documents have more restrictive procedures for suspending the use rights of a guest those must be followed unless they conflict with the procedure set forth in the Statute. Prior to suspending the use rights of a guest however, we recommend that an association seek advice from its legal counsel as to the specific procedure it must follow when suspending such use rights.