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Kevin O'Flaherty

Decoding Indiana HOA Laws

Navigating the complex world of homeowners association (HOA) laws can be a daunting task for Indiana homeowners. But fear not, intrepid reader! This comprehensive guide is here to help you decode the ins and outs of Indiana HOA legislation and empower you with the knowledge necessary to protect your rights and interests as a homeowner. From understanding key legislation to exploring unique rules and restrictions, this blog post will delve into the intricacies of Indiana HOA laws, making them accessible and digestible for homeowners like you.

Understanding Indiana HOA Laws: Key Legislation

Homeowners associations in Indiana are subject to a trio of key legislation that governs their establishment, management, and operation: the Indiana Homeowners Association Act, the Indiana Condominium Act, and the Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act. Together, these acts provide a comprehensive framework for the creation, governance, and functioning of HOAs in the state, ensuring the rights and responsibilities of homeowners association members are clearly defined and protected.

Indiana Homeowners Association Act

The Indiana Homeowners Association Act, which took effect on June 30, 2009, lays down the guidelines for the formation, management, and jurisdiction of HOAs in Indiana. This act covers:

  • Procedures for communication, information availability, and grievance resolution
  • Mandates for Indiana HOAs to comply with the Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act of 1991 as they are established as non-profit corporations
  • Rules and regulations regarding homeowners association liens.

This act notably stipulates that HOAs must make all communications and information concerning a lot accessible to the owner of the lot or home on the lot. This includes information about when and where a homeowners association meeting is held. The act is codified in Indiana Code 32-25.5.

Indiana Condominium Act

As its name suggests, the Indiana Condominium Act governs the formation, governance, authority, and functioning of condominiums in the state. This comprehensive legislation, codified in Indiana Code Title 32, Article 25, outlines the responsibilities of co-owners, the formation of condominium associations, and the allocation of costs and repairs for condominium communities.

Additionally, the Indiana Condominium Act:

  • Ensures that condominiums and homeowners associations align with applicable federal laws
  • Provides a robust framework that guarantees the rights and responsibilities of condominium unit owners
  • Sets out regulations for the management of condominium associations

By working in conjunction with the Indiana HOA Act, the Indiana Condominium Act provides a comprehensive legal framework for condominiums and homeowners associations in the state.

Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act

The Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act, on the other hand, provides the legal structure for the establishment and functioning of non-profit corporations in Indiana. This includes the possibility of dealing with legal matters in a federal district court if necessary. Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in Indiana that register as a non-profit corporation must adhere to the provisions of this act in regard to formation, management, powers, and operation.

Adherence to the Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act ensures that Indiana HOAs operate within the state's legal parameters. This act provides the legal basis for the establishment, functioning, and governance of HOAs in the state, setting the stage for a well-regulated environment for both homeowners and associations alike.

Accessing HOA Governing Documents in Indiana

Gaining a clear understanding of your homeowners association's governing documents is vital in comprehending the complexities of Indiana HOA laws. These documents can be accessed through the county recorder's office or online if they have been filed with the Indiana Secretary of State. The governing documents, such as the Articles of Incorporation and bylaws, should be available for public access on the website.

Familiarity with your homeowner's association's governing documents empowers you with knowledge of your rights and responsibilities and facilitates informed decision-making when participating in your homeowner's association's activities. From attending homeowners association meetings to understanding the intricacies of your HOA's proposed annual budget, having a thorough grasp of your association's governing documents is critical to being an engaged and informed homeowner in Indiana.

Common HOA Powers and Restrictions in Indiana

Indiana HOAs wield considerable power in enforcing rules and restrictions in their communities. These powers include:

  • Imposing fines on homeowners for rule violations
  • Initiating foreclosure proceedings on properties when owners fail to pay dues
  • Accessing properties under certain circumstances

While these powers allow HOAs to maintain order and enforce their governing documents, they also come with certain limitations and requirements, such as the homeowners association budget, to protect the rights of homeowners.

In the following subsections, we will explore some of the most common powers and restrictions that Indiana HOAs have at their disposal, including the process of imposing fines on homeowners, their foreclosure rights, and the rules governing property entry.

Imposing Fines on Homeowners

Homeowners associations in Indiana can impose fines on homeowners for breaches of the rules and regulations stipulated in the HOA's governing documents, such as architectural guidelines, noise restrictions, and pet policies. Fines may also be imposed for non-payment of HOA fees or assessments in a timely manner. The legal limitations for HOA fines in Indiana are governed by the Indiana Homeowners Associations Act, which can be located in Indiana Code 32-25.5, and the specific limitations may vary depending on the provisions outlined in the act.

It's vital for homeowners to understand the process of imposing fines and the legal limitations outlined in the Indiana Homeowners Associations Act. If you believe a fine is unfair or not in line with the governing documents, you have the right to contest the fine. It is crucial for both homeowners and HOAs to adhere to the procedures and guidelines set forth in their governing documents when dealing with fines, ensuring the regular annual assessment paid is appropriately managed.

Foreclosure Rights

In the unfortunate event that a homeowner fails to pay their dues or assessments, an Indiana HOA has the authority to foreclose on the property. Foreclosure proceedings in Indiana are judicial, which means that the HOA must file a lawsuit in court to pursue foreclosure on the property. However, homeowners in Indiana are provided with certain protections against HOA foreclosures, such as the right to receive a pre-foreclosure notice by certified mail at least 30 days before the HOA files a foreclosure suit.

Homeowners should be aware of their rights and options during the foreclosure process. If you find yourself facing foreclosure by your HOA, consult with a legal professional to ensure that your rights are protected and that you fully understand the implications of the foreclosure process.

Property Entry Rules

Property entry rules for Indiana HOAs are determined by the association's governing documents. In general, HOAs are allowed to enter a homeowner's property in emergencies, for maintenance purposes, or when a rule violation is suspected. The standard for reasonable notice for property entry in Indiana varies from three days to a couple of weeks, depending on the purpose of the entry.

Familiarity with the property entry rules outlined in your HOA's governing documents is vital for homeowners. Understanding these rules will help you protect your rights and maintain a harmonious relationship with your HOA. Remember that homeowners have the right to restrict access to their home, and entry is generally not permissible without consent, warrant, or court order.

Navigating HOA Membership in Indiana

HOA membership rules in Indiana are determined by the association's governing documents, and membership in a mandatory HOA is typically tied to property ownership within the community. To comply with HOA membership requirements, homeowners must pay obligatory dues imposed by the association, which are authorized by the Indiana Homeowners Associations Act and the association's declaration.

Leaving a mandatory HOA, however, can be a challenging endeavor for homeowners. Options for departing from a mandatory HOA in Indiana are limited, often requiring the homeowner to sell their residence or attempt to petition the court to have their home excluded from the HOA. Understanding the implications of HOA membership and the limited options for leaving a mandatory HOA is vital for homeowners.

Dissolving an Indiana HOA: Steps and Procedures

Dissolving an Indiana HOA involves several steps and procedures, including:

  1. Checking the association's governing documents for guidelines on dissolution.
  2. Proposing the dissolution to the HOA board.
  3. Obtaining a majority vote from the members.
  4. Filing Articles of Dissolution with the Indiana Secretary of State.

The number of votes required to achieve a majority vote for HOA dissolution in Indiana may vary depending on the specific HOA's governing documents.

Both homeowners and HOA board members should be cognizant of the steps and procedures involved in dissolving an HOA, as well as the Indiana Secretary of State's role in the process. Properly navigating the dissolution process ensures that all parties involved comply with the legal requirements and that the dissolution is carried out in a fair and orderly manner.

Fair Housing and Discrimination in Indiana HOAs

The Indiana Fair Housing Act is a critical piece of legislation that prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of:

  • race
  • color
  • national origin
  • religion
  • sex
  • familial status
  • disability

This act guarantees that Indiana residents have the right to rent or purchase a residence without encountering discrimination due to these protected characteristics. HOAs in Indiana must comply with these anti-discrimination laws when making decisions regarding housing and residents.

Recent legal cases involving HOA discrimination in Indiana, such as Watters v. Homeowners Assn. at Pres. at Bridgewater and Walton v. Claybridge Homeowners Assn., underscore the importance of addressing discrimination within HOAs and adhering to the Indiana Fair Housing Act. Indiana homeowners should be cognizant of fair housing laws and safeguard their rights against discrimination in their community.

Unique Indiana HOA Rules: Political Signs and Solar Panels

Indiana HOA laws feature some unique provisions concerning the display of political signs and the installation of solar panels. In terms of political signs, Indiana state law permits political signs to be placed in residents' yards 30 days in advance of an election and five days after the election. HOAs cannot prohibit homeowners from displaying political signs, though they can impose limitations on size, quantity, and placement.

When it comes to solar panels, Indiana HOAs are prohibited from imposing unreasonable limitations on solar energy if it affects the cost or efficiency of the solar energy system. Understanding these unique Indiana HOA rules aids homeowners in making informed decisions and advocating for their rights, particularly in relation to displaying political signs or installing solar panels.

Filing Complaints Against an Indiana HOA: Options and Resources

If you believe your HOA is acting unfairly or not in compliance with the law, you have several avenues for filing complaints against your Indiana HOA. Options and resources for filing complaints include the Office of the Attorney General, state or federal courts, or specific departments, depending on the nature of the complaint. To file a complaint against an HOA in Indiana, gather any relevant documentation, such as communication records, violation notices, and copies of the HOA's governing documents, and consult with legal counsel or refer to specific state laws and governing documents of the HOA for precise and comprehensive information.

While filing a complaint against an HOA might seem intimidating, awareness of your rights and available resources can assist in managing this challenging situation. By understanding the various venues for filing complaints and the steps involved, you can ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.


In conclusion, understanding the nuances of Indiana HOA laws is an essential task for homeowners looking to protect their rights and interests within their community. From exploring key legislation governing HOAs to navigating membership rules, understanding Indiana HOA laws empowers homeowners with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions and engage fully in their community.

We hope that this comprehensive guide has helped decode the complex world of Indiana HOA laws, providing you with a clear understanding of the rights, responsibilities, and resources available to you as a homeowner. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the world of HOAs and ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who regulates HOA in Indiana?

The Indiana Homeowners Association Act of 2009 regulates HOAs in Indiana, granting them the power to impose compulsory dues on the members of the community.

What is the statute of limitations on HOAs in Indiana?

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for collecting HOA debt is six years.

How do I get rid of an HOA in Indiana?

To dissolve an HOA in Indiana, the governing documents must be checked for dissolution procedures. If they do not exist, a majority vote at a meeting of members is required to authorize dissolution.

Can an HOA restrict rentals in Indiana?

In Indiana, HOAs are generally able to impose rental restrictions on owners. It is advisable for HOAs to include these restrictions in their governing documents to ensure they are legally binding.

What are the key acts governing Indiana HOAs?

The key acts governing Indiana HOAs are the Indiana Homeowners Association Act, the Indiana Condominium Act, and the Indiana Non-profit Corporation Act.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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