There is some bad advise below. Your friends, if they wish to live there, suspect they will be denied, should take the HOA docs, covenants and R&R, to an attorney. There are limits regarding what HOA officers can ask, and even greater limits on what they can impose, here in the great state of Florida.
Let me further advise, gaining residential status in a community that does not want you there is not a formula for peaceful co-existence. Even if your friends win, and litigate their way in, they can lose in the long run.
Take great care regarding that for which you wish.
They should address their questions to their attorney. Depending on the nature of the infractions the association may have the right to decline them. If the infractions were a long time ago it mey not be a problem. If its something recent and deemed serious by the "powers that be", it could prevent them from living in that community.
I wish them the best of luck.
Conversely, have your friends done their due-diligence on the HOA?
Is it a good place to live?
Do the residents like their HOA; or is it repressive?
Have they seen a copy of the CCR's?
Is the HOA solvent?
It works both ways.
I wish your friends the best of luck in finding a home.
Nicole Marks Mason, Realtor