Tuscaloosa, AL asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Alabama

Q: Does a HOA have the right to decide if I extend my driveway or not?

I live in a neighborhood with a HOA. My house is on a culdesac with an empty lot next to us (the empty lot has been deemed not build-able). I want to extend my driveway about two-feet towards the empty lot, but still on my property.

1 Lawyer Answer

A: That's a question that can't be answered without looking the HOA's official documents, any subdivision regulations that apply and any local city, town or county ordinances that apply. Here's a short un-researched educated guess (that may or may not be correct): If none of the things or entities listed in the preceding sentence say you can't, then you probably can. The easiest way to find out the law part of it will be to check with your local building department and ask whether you will need a building permit for it. That won't tell you what the HOA's powers are, but its a start. The HOA HAS to give you copies of its formal documents. These consist (at least) are its bylaws, its articles of incorporation if its incorporated, its certificate of organization if its an LLC, the restrictive covenants, if any, that its charged with the duty of enforcing, and any rules and regulations that have been adopted by the board of directors.

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