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Florida woman in dispute with HOA over clothesline

Anyone who's been a part of a homeowners' association knows how hard it can be to keep everyone in compliance. That includes things like properly maintaining the yard, paying attention to the posted signs and obeying the rules of the community. On the other side of the coin is the resident, who often feels as if the rules are either unfair or aren't being enforced properly.

A battle in one Florida community is playing out this dynamic once again. A 62-year-old woman in Florida was spending some time up in Maine when she discovered a not-so-well-known legislation in the Sunshine State called the "right to dry" law. It says that residents in any community in Florida can use clotheslines, regardless of the HOA's bylaws.

With this new info in hand, she came back to her community and put up a clothesline, much to the chagrin of the HOA and some neighbors. While the HOA bylaws can't prohibit clotheslines, they can still put some restrictions on them, including no overnight hanging and no clotheslines in the front yard.

A case like this one is the perfect way to illustrate how HOAs don't always have the final say on what their residents can do or have, and conversely, how residents can't do anything they want or flout the rules. Rather, it's about coming to a compromise where both sides end up happy.

Whether you're an HOA in a disagreement with a resident, or vice versa, an attorney can help you find a way to resolve it.

Source:, "Florida?s clothesline law trumps HOA rules," Melanie Payne, December 6, 2016

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