HOA Violations bumming you out?
Here are some things to think about before you get a violation
Being told how and what to do to your own home could be frustrating. maybe even annoying. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way. HOA is made to unify the community under one common rule, and rules. Although, more times than non, these rules were there long before you got there, and will probably be there long after you’re gone. So here are some helpful tips to get with the program, and learn to navigate your HOA.
7 Common HOA Rule Violations—and How to Avoid Getting Fined
The best way to avoid fines is to stay in the loop with your community. Familiarize yourself with the CC&Rs, read community documents, attend community board meetings, pay attention to community updates, and ask questions when you think you might be in violation.
1. House design changes
Making any changes to the appearance or structure of your home—such as adding a new mailbox or paint job—requires getting permission from your HOA.
2. Smoking near neighbors
Other common violations are those that inconvenience other residents at the association, says David Swedelson, a community association attorney and a founding partner of SwedelsonGottlieb in Los Angeles.
HOAs may impose limits on pets in the community, including the number of pets you own; the specific breeds allowed; where pets can be walked; and whether or not they must be kept on a leash.
4. Illegal rentals
Thinking of renting out your home on Airbnb? Many HOAs require written permission to allow rental of your home, since renters may not be aware of the association rules. Given the popularity of short-term rentals, Swedelson says his firm is increasingly seeing violations surrounding this issue.
Making a little cash on the side is great, but be sure you’re in compliance with your community’s rules before renting out your place.
5. Landscaping, decorations, and other exterior upkeep
Overgrown weeds and lawns are a big no-no in an HOA community. Dirty roof, driveway, or house? These are also situations in which you’d need to check with the HOA. Some boards even limit the types of trees and plants that are acceptable and where they can be located on your property.
Most HOAs also prohibit clutter outside your home. This includes outside storage. An HOA may take issue with things like bicycles or kayaks being stored outside in plain sight.
And during the holidays, HOA rules may limit how long before and after a holiday you can decorate the home’s exterior, including the size and type of decoration.
6. Motor vehicles
Many HOAs have rules on the number and types of vehicles (and boats, RVs, etc.) that can be parked in your driveway or on the street.
Most HOAs are strict about putting trash cans out too early or not bringing them in on time. Be careful about bulky items you throw out, such as furniture items or boxes that haven’t been broken down—your board might have a problem with them being left on the curb.
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