Can an HOA Demand a Lease Payment for an Easement?

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‘Hi, my HOA mailed every lake front property owner with a dock a contract to lease the easement for $100 a year. The deed provides “UNDER AND SUBJECT to the free and uninterrupted right, use, liberty, and privilege of all owners” “to ingress, egress, and regress to, and recreational use and enjoyment of” the lake. The shoreline is maintained by the property owners that use them. Many, including our dock, are over 25 years old. Can The HOA demand owners to sign a lease agreement or have the dock removed at the owners expense?’

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Before you take any action, you should review the applicable documents and point blank (but politely) ask the HOA what they think gives them the authority to do this.

As you’ve described it, it sounds like they are overreaching by requiring a lease payment for the easement. In general, if you have an easement, it is something you own not rent (unless the easement document provides otherwise). However, if they re-characterize the payment as something else–say reimbursement for the added maintenance–it might not be as much of a problem.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.