Q: Our HOA will not let us reserve the clubhouse and pool area for a private party. The property manager told us that we can have an event and invite guests, but that the event could not be closed off to the other members. Can the HOA do this? I am paying hefty quarterly dues, and I feel like there should be some way for us to have a private party in the clubhouse area from time to time.
A. In a private community with common amenities, the association owns, maintains and insures the common facilities. As a result, the homeowner’s association has the right to adopt reasonable rules and regulations with respect to the use of the amenities. By purchasing in this type of community, you are obligated to pay your share of the costs needed to operate the amenities, but you generally do not have a right to use those amenities in a private or exclusive manner.
Some communities do allow their residents to reserve the use of the clubhouse or meeting room on a limited basis and will require the resident to pay a reasonable deposit for use of the facility. However, the association is not obligated to have such a policy. As a member of the HOA, you are free to gather at the common areas and even invite friends and family members to join you, but you will generally not have the right to exclude residents from joining your party unless the association has a reasonable policy for temporarily reserving the facilities for private use. If you are not happy with the association’s policies on these types of issues, perhaps you should run for a spot on the Board at the next election.