18 Rules Your HOA Can Enforce Without Warning

Written By Jill Taylor

It’s important to know the rules your homeowners association (HOA) can enforce without giving you a heads-up. These can really affect your daily life and even the value and enjoyment you get from your property. Here are 18 rules to help you stay in the loop and on good terms with your HOA’s unexpected rules.

Landscaping Standards

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According to Elite Management Services, HOAs often have strict landscaping rules, telling you everything from how tall your grass can be to what types of plants you’re allowed to have. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you could be fined or forced to make changes.

Exterior Paint Colors

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Something as simple as picking the wrong color for your home’s exterior could get you in trouble with your HOA. Many associations have a set palette to keep things looking similar in the community. If you paint your house a color that’s not on their list, you could easily get into trouble and have to repaint it.

Vehicle Parking

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Parking rules in HOA communities can be pretty strict. They might tell you where you can park, what types of vehicles are allowed, and how long you can park on the street. Breaking these rules could get you fined or even have your car towed, all to keep the neighborhood’s roads clear and safe.

Pet Regulations

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If you have a pet, it’s important to know about HOA pet rules. These can include limits on the number of pets, breed restrictions, and leash requirements. Ignoring them is a sure way to be fined or even have your pet removed from the area.

Holiday Decorations

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Holiday cheer is great, but it’s good to know the limits. HOAs often set rules on the type, duration, and size of holiday decorations. Going overboard or leaving them up too long might lead to penalties, helping keep the area looking tidy.

Noise Control

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For many HOAs, keeping the peace is a big deal, so they have strict noise control rules. These rules can limit how loud you can play music, make construction noise, and even how much your dog can bark. You have to stick to quiet hours so everyone can have a peaceful place to live.

Trash and Recycling

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Getting rid of trash and recycling properly is usually an HOA rule. They’ll tell you what bins to use, where to put them, and when to take them out. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you might have to take other steps to comply.

Architectural Changes

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Before you make any big changes to your home’s structure, you usually need to get the HOA’s approval. This covers things like adding fences, pools, or even solar panels. If you go ahead without permission, you’re most likely to be fined for this as well or be asked to undo the changes.

Signage Rules

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Even something as simple as a sign in your yard can be regulated. HOAs often have rules about the size, type, and placement of signs, including political or for-sale signs. This helps maintain a clean and beautiful neighborhood, ensuring everyone enjoys the surroundings.

Rental Restrictions

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If you’re considering renting out your property, be sure to check your HOA’s rental restrictions. These can include limits on the number of rental units, minimum lease terms, and tenant screening processes. This way, the community is stable and ensures homes are owner-occupied.

Lawn Ornament Regulations

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Adding personal touches to your yard with ornaments might be limited by your HOA. The rules can specify the size, number, and type of decorations you can have. This is also due to HOAs’ efforts to keep the neighborhood looking neat and uniform.

Fence Specifications

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Putting up a fence isn’t just about what you like; it has to meet HOA rules. These guidelines can dictate the height, materials, and placement of your fence. If you don’t follow them, you might be required to make the necessary changes.

Mailbox Standards

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Your mailbox might need to follow specific HOA guidelines for its design and location.  If you install a mailbox that doesn’t comply, you’ll most likely be asked to replace it with something that your HOA will find acceptable and suitable for your community.

Pool and Hot Tub Regulations

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HOAs usually have rules about installing and maintaining pools and hot tubs. These might cover safety measures, noise control, and how it looks. These rules are put in place to keep everyone safe and happy, so it’s necessary to comply.

Satellite Dishes

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When installing a satellite dish, you’ll usually need to follow HOA rules about its size and placement. It’s important to follow these rules so you don’t get in trouble with your HOA; there’s no other way of going about it.

Window Treatments

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Your HOA can regulate how your window treatments look. There might be rules about the color, style, and even the type of material you use. These guidelines were put in place for a reason, most likely to keep a consistent appearance from the outside of all the homes.

Exterior Lighting

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Your outdoor lighting choices might need to follow HOA rules, like the type, brightness, and placement of fixtures. If you ignore them, you could face fines and have to make changes. So, it’s worth sticking to the guidelines to keep your community well-lit and appealing.

Driveway Use

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Even your driveway can be a subject of HOA regulation. Rules may cover the type of activities allowed, such as vehicle repairs or recreational use. Non-compliance can lead to fines and restrictions, ensuring that driveways are used appropriately and maintain neighborhood orderliness.

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