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I live (rent) a condo where every back yard is approx. 14 x 20 feet. Each back yard has a fence that's 6 feet high or so. I put up a trampoline in the back yard but the safety net is over the height of the fence. The HOA has a rule that I can not have anything taller than the fence.

There are some exceptions to the rule of having something taller than the fence (e.g umbrella, trees). I asked for an exception for the safety net and was denied and was instructed to take it down. I was told that the trampoline itself is not a violation. The safety net is 95% see through.

It's clearly an attempt to persuade me to remove the trampoline all together. Again the trampoline itself is not considered a violation.

There have been noise complaints. The kids get loud sometimes. This is not a violation of any rules either.

It is possible for me to take the net down and put it back up when the kids want to jump. It's a bit of a pain in the butt though. Each time I put it back when the kids want to jump. I get a message from the HOA to take it down… which I do.

My girlfriend doesn't want me to remove it completely for safety. I'm at a point where I want to remove it completely though.

  1. If I remove the net and someone gets hurt, can I sue the HOA?

  2. Can I fight the HOA as a renter? Can I be evicted?

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    Take down the net - they do not reduce injuries anyway: injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/16/3/185 – Dale M Jun 14 '17 at 1:33
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    @DaleM that's not what the study says; it could be that people don't use the safety nets for whatever reason. The study specifically says they don't know why injuries haven't changed. – Kat Jun 14 '17 at 18:16
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The answer depends in part on your relationship to the HOA, and your lease. Normally, you would have no direct relationship to the HOA, instead your legal relationship is with the owner (who has a relationship to the HOA). The owner of the condo has a legal obligation to follow certain rules, the violation of which will result in a penalty (imposed on him). You presumably are leasing the place from an owner, so the HOA won't impose any penalty on you, since you have no direct connection with the HOA. You then have to look at your rental agreement, to see what obligations were stated, whereby you have to follow the HOA rules. If there is a clause that says "You must follow the rules", then if you don't, it's possible you can be evicted by the owner. If there isn't such a clause, the owner would suffer the consequences of your rule-breaking.

You can try to sue the HOA if someone gets hurt, but that would be a waste of your time and money since the suit would be dismissed (the HOA is not responsible for injuries that you are legally responsible for). Whether or not you should try such a lawsuit is between you and your attorney. You can try to fight the HOA (politically), within limits, e.g. by writing letters, or speaking to the HOA or board of directors, as long as they allow it (since you aren't a homeowner, they don't have to listen to you). Again, whether you should do this is between you and your attorney, and anyhow that's not a legal question. You could not, however, sue the HOA to force them to change the rules.

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