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HOA wants to change bylaws to restrict rentals


Im not sure if you can help me or if you can recommend an attorney.

I live in Kennebunkport Maine

I live on a cut de sac with 7 lots - 6 of which have home on them. I built the 2nd house in the cup de sac. Sold it - bought a 2nd lot - waited two years and then built the 4th house in the cul de sac.

I have lived in this house for 15 years as of May 2018.

4 or 5 years ago the most recent home was built next door.

The new people do not like that I rent rooms in the summer.

The town allows whole house and room rentals. I have complied with all of the town rules.

The HOA dose NOT restrict or prohibit rental. In fact it does not say anything about room rentals at all. It does state that all homes must be single family homes and they all are.

The HOA wants to change the bylaws in this manner

1) where it now has NO language around rentals they want to state that rentals are now allowed and 2) they want to severely restrict how much I can rent (only 4 weeks a year) and for how long I can rent (1 week min which is not quite the town law - the town law says that you cannot rent to two different parties within a 1 week period but that you can rent for a min of 2 nights) and 3) that one cannot advertise that they are pet friendly.

I want to know if I am grandfathered in. If they change the bylaws, can they be made retroactive or is there a Maine law (I think I read one somewhere but cannot find it now) that any home purchased before 2012 cannot have laws forced upon them retroactively by an HOA?)) I built without this restriction. Now they are adding a restriction which I do not find fair. As of now they have no right to tell me (though they constantly do) what I can and cannot do in my home. I have always been respectful of the neighborhood and NO ONE had an issue until the people built next door. They have bullied me endlessly. They call the police and the town code enforcement officer and the animal control. They bad mouth the neighborhood all over town. Town officials have them on their radar. They are relentless because they wanted to live in an 'executive' neighborhood. The other neighbors are also in agreement that they are this relentless because I am an single female - believe me, if they had to stand up to a man they would not be doing this. I have tried to appease them but it's impossible.

I need to know if the LAW is on my side. I need to know that if they change the bylaws, they are only applicable to future owners and not retroactively enforceable.

They have made my life a living hell.

Answers (57)

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