I have a friend whose HOA has threated to block their guests unless she personally escorts them in. They are doing this as an anti-renting strategy, but of course they have no way of knowing whether a guest is her sister, a renter or what.

Assuming the owner notifies the gate that the guest is authorized to enter their property, can the gate nevertheless refuse entry to the person?

I assume this would an actionable tort for denying the home owner the full enjoyment of their property. Am I correct?

My understanding is that if an HOA thinks an occupant of a house is there in violation of a covenant, then they have to go to court to get a remedy for that; they can't just block them at the security gate.


Further research indicates a couple of things: a renter who is denied access by a gate guard could apparently make a claim against the HOA for tort of nuisance and free enjoyment of the property to which they are entitled.

A visitor, however, could not make such a claim, so in that instance what recourse does the property owner have? In other words, if a party prevents a visitor invited onto their property from entering the property, does the property owner have a claim against the person blocking access?

  • 2
    There is no way the answer to this could be the same for all jurisdictions.
    – phoog
    Jan 21, 2016 at 5:20
  • Do the CC&Rs say they can do it? If so, they probably can do it. If not, they probably can't.
    – Patrick87
    Jan 21, 2016 at 14:06
  • @phoog I am interested in points of state laws. If state laws differ IN A SIGNIFICANT WAY on this point, prove it, because I don't think they do.
    – Cicero
    Jan 21, 2016 at 14:40
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    Do the roads and sidewalks belong to the municipality or the HOA or are they common property of the houses? Does the deed to your friend's house explicitly have an easement to cross them?
    – user662852
    Jan 21, 2016 at 14:58
  • @Cicero are you talking about the USA?
    – phoog
    Jan 21, 2016 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


user662852 has a good point -- whoever own the property has the right to make the rules.

Is the property, land+construction in fact your's or does it belong to the HOA who just grant you access as a lease holder?

Different states has different rules, but in my state it is illegal to maroon a property and there must be a access to public streets even when this necessitate passing over somebody else land. However that is irrelevant if the HOA owns the land your house is build on.

I think you will have to look at your HOA agreement and see what it says.

  • I am hoping to get answer from either a lawyer or someone who has thorough knowledge of the law, not the offhand guesses of a layman.
    – Cicero
    Jan 21, 2016 at 16:17
  • 1
    @Cicero How could anyone possibly answer this effectively without reviewing the tenets of the HOA agreement?? Or knowing the exact location of the HOA?? And the land rights of that area?? I think, based on the information you've provided, all you are going to get are "best guesses". It is equally possible that the HOA owns all the land and has a right to prevent trespassers or that the HOA has no right to restrict movement in public areas.
    – Scott
    Jan 21, 2016 at 16:59
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    @Cicero Have you considered paying a lawyer rather than asking anonymous strangers on the Internet, then? Pro tip: check the lawyer's credentials before paying any money. Now, where do I send the invoice for that advice?
    – Patrick87
    Jan 21, 2016 at 18:46
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    @cicero "HOAs almost never own anything" the last gated community I visited happened to own a pool and pool house; my B-I-L lives in an ungated HOA that owns a playground. You're being cagey with details, and in this, the devil is in the details. Does your friend have a property right from the nearest public street to her door that she can unilaterally grant to a guest; or does the HOA hold that right, which they have granted to just property owners as a matter of course and control in other circumstances? I can't tell you (thus comments and no answer); the detailed deed and covenants can.
    – user662852
    Jan 21, 2016 at 20:05
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    @Cicero "Almost never" is not the same thing as "never". Again, without seeing specific tenets I don't know how you would get any definitive answers here. Being rude to others certainly may not assist you either.
    – Scott
    Jan 21, 2016 at 22:55

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