The legislature of the state of Louisiana has statutes on record that govern the activities of the homeowners associations that operate within the state. These laws establish guidelines for the setup of homeowners associations and protect homebuyers from fraudulent and discriminatory association practices.
Definitions of a Homeowners Association
Louisiana revised statute, Title 9, Section 1141.2 states,"'Homeowners association' or 'association' means a nonprofit corporation, unincorporated association, or other legal entity, which is created pursuant to a declaration, whose members consist primarily of lot owners, and which is created to manage or regulate, or both, the residential planned community."
Extent of Louisiana Homeowner Statutes
Louisiana homeowners association statutes do not apply to condominium properties, which are governed by a different set of rules in the statutes. The statutes also do not apply to timeshare interests that are created within residential areas that have homeowner's associations. The statutes do not infringe upon any right that is protected by the Louisiana State Constitution, nor do they affect the ownership titles of lot owners in the state.
Homeowners associations in Louisiana are allowed to impose building restrictions on property within the association's residential area. These restrictions can concern building standards, specified uses or land improvements. Restrictions may also include the initiation of an affirmative duty, or legal obligation, which may be a requirement to pay monthly or periodic fees or a charge to the homeowners for the expense of an improvement to the residence. Building restrictions can additionally apply to roadways, sidewalks, common areas and other property in the residential area.
Establishing Building Restrictions
Building restrictions may be established, changed and revoked based on the guidelines set up in the community homeowners' agreements. However, if the agreement lacks such a clause on building restrictions, then the state legislature has set forth several avenues for changes to be made. The statute states that building restrictions can be established by a three-fourths vote of the association members, amended by a two-thirds vote of the members and repealed by a one-half vote.
Homeowners' Rights and Association Rights
Homeowners are allowed to file a statement with the association and the parish clerk declining coverage under certain aspects of a new agreement, but this must be done within 30 days of any change. Each lot in a residential area under the authority of the homeowners association represents a single vote and no common area represents a voting interest. Votes may be recognized by a written ballot submitted to the association or by a meeting of all willing members where votes are taken directly. The community agreement of the association is considered to be legally binding to all members.