A loophole in Oklahoma state law has one family and the Home Owners Association (HOA) heading to the courtroom.
Dustin Graham, 29, was found guilty of possessing child pornography after he had secretly videotaped a woman and an underage girl in a bathroom in his then Oklahoma city apartment. He was sentenced to five years in jail and five years probation.
After being released from prison, Graham became a registered sex offender. When he purchased the home in Norman, the move was approved by Norman Police because the state law did not consider the HOA to be private park area that fell under the rule that sex offenders must live at least 2,000 feet away.
Changed Laws Leave Family in a Lurch
A new law has since changed this ruling. Now any park, regardless of whether it is public or private, is restricted for sex offenders.
Another issue is that Graham never officially “owned” the house. His name is not on the mortgage, and it is not on the real estate contract.
Graham is suing the HOA and the city, asking that he be grandfathered into the area.
How to Deal with Your HOA
Issues between a homeowner and the HOA can be stressful, but as long as you are prepared both parties will know where one another stands and will have the best outcome.
Have the Right Paperwork on Hand
Your best weapon when dealing with any legal conflict is to have the right paperwork in order. You will want to have a copy of:
- The rental application and/or purchase agreement/mortgage
- Written references from landlords (if necessary)
- A current copy of your credit report (this can be ordered online)
- Witness statements (if necessary)
Review the Conditions of Ownership or Tenancy
Understanding exactly what a homeowner or tenant can and cannot do while on the property will bring clarity to what your rights are and whether or not you have a case.
Seek Legal Assistance When Necessary
Many disputes between a homeowner or tenant and the HOA can be resolved between those parties. But in more complicated cases (such as the story above), then legal intervention is in the best interest of all parties involved.
Why Contact Moore Business Law
Rick Dane Moore and Associations Law Firm, P.L.L.C. helps those embroiled in HOA-related disputes find an amicable solution to a problem. Whether you are a developer, an individual in the community or the community itself, we are committed to delivering meaning results to our clients.
To speak with an attorney familiar with Home Owners Association issues today, we invite you to call us at (405) 366-0373 today.