Mandatory Membership is Legal


Homeowner Associations find community rules and regulations within their covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). These documents help keep order in the community and help ensure property values increase. Sometimes, this even means assisting with dues for a valued property that may not have been previously expected. It may sound strange, but enforcing membership dues for the likes of a country club can be totally legal if the CC&Rs require it.

Like any agreement, it is up to the responsible signing parties to understand what the written agreement entails. The CC&Rs, plainly, determine what is and is not offered and required by the association. Even if certain community enforcements seem unlikely or even unfair, it is best to check with the CC&Rs for the legality in any neighborhood announcements.
For instance, in Suffolk County, N.Y., there was the legal case of Country Pointe at Dix Hills Home Owners Association, Inc. v. Beechwood Organization. Country Pointe community members were given notice to join membership to an adjacent golf course, Green at Half Hollow. As a matter of course, Beechwood was the owner of the golf course and purchased the Country Pointe community and Green at Half Hollow from the original owners of SIB Associates, LLC prior to sale of homes. Beechwood specified to prospective owners that part of the CC&Rs was to become a social member at Green at Half Hollow:
Prior to marketing homes at Country Pointe, Beechwood obtained CPS-7 approval from the New York Attorney General. The CPS-7 documents were provided to prospective purchasers and contained the required disclosures regarding the benefits, obligations and amenities of being a homeowner at Country Pointe, specifically that purchasers would be required to become social members of the club.
While the community members objected to the demand for membership, Beechwood had stipulated these dues requirements in the CC&Rs for prospective buyers to review. Again, as with any major purchase, buyers entering into any community association need to be aware of the commitments they are making. There are plenty of property value incentives to being part of a homeowner association, but if you’re entering into a new community, be sure to understand all requirements involved.
Written by: Errol Thomas & provided by Cedar Management Group.