Many people who belong to a homeowners association view these organizations as a giant pain. HOAs often make rules that homeowners must follow. Fail to do so, and you could be fined.
But there is good reason behind an HOA’s tough approach: The goal is to ensure practices that keep the community safe and attractive.
A recent LendingTree survey asked more than 1,000 homeowners to describe their feelings toward HOAs. LendingTree said unhappiness with the cost of HOAs generally appears to be most common in those who have gotten notices for violating membership rules.
Following are the most common HOA violations, according to those surveyed.
4. Trash pickup
HOAs sometimes have rules about trash pickup. For example, you might be required to keep your trash can out of sight— such as inside a garage — at certain times.
Rules around fencing often are put into place for aesthetic reasons, but safety also can be a factor — such as making sure the fence doesn’t obstruct the views of drivers near intersections.
HOAs may require that the fence you install be a certain height or that it must be set back a specific distance from the property line.
2. Design changes
Many of the changes you make to the exterior of your home — from the color of paint you are allowed to choose to the style of front door you can install — can be subject to HOA rules. Sometimes, these rules extend to the interior of the home as well.
The goal of such rules is to keep a community looking uniform and tidy.
HOAs often have rules about landscaping that must be followed. For example, you might be limited to the type of plants you can install or the types of lawn furniture or sculptures you can have.
Other rules might dictate whether and how you can garden or whether you can remove a tree.