Common HOA Violations That Can Cost You

When you move to a development governed by a homeowners association (HOA), you must follow rules that benefit the entire community. If you fail to do your part, you could incur penalties, fines, liens, and even lawsuits that could cost you a lot.


What is an HOA?

An HOA is a community where owners must sign contracts agreeing to specific rules to live there. A good example is a condo development. Most HOAs require that each homeowner pay monthly fees to cover shared expenses like maintenance (snow plowing/lawn mowing) and external building repairs. 


Types of HOA Violations That Can Cost You

HOA rules consist of many things, mainly to keep the community safe and property values high. Some HOA violations to avoid are:

Upkeep – Many HOAs require that you keep your lawn mowed and prohibit certain items like tacky lawn ornaments. Before planting any new greenery, check the rules.

Vehicles – Property covenants often include rules about parking and vehicles. Many HOA rules do not permit RVs, campers, motorcycles, or boats on the property. 

Renting – Some communities do not permit owners to sublet or rent out their homes for safety reasons. 

Trash – HOA rules are often very strict regarding trash and pickup. There may be rules about when you can put your trash out and bring your bins in quickly after trash pickup. The look affects the entire community.

Pets – Pets are another serious HOA violation you want to avoid. If dogs are not allowed, and you have a barking animal that disturbs neighbors, you could be fined, have to give away the dog, or be forced to move. 

Outside Storage – Be careful about storing items like kayaks and other unsightly items outside your home. You could be penalized if the rules prohibit it. 

Noise – Most HOAs have rules about noise. Sometimes they have “quiet” times, for example, no excessive noise before 8 a.m. or after 10 p.m. 

Outside Alterations – Most HOA rules want everything to stay uniform, and if you make alterations to your home that do not conform to the community, you could face legal issues.

Holiday Decorations – Keeping your holiday decorations up beyond the season could bother people in your development, and a complaint could lead to fines or worse.


The Penalties for HOA Violations

Sometimes, a neighbor may call the police if you violate the rules. Some HOA rules are designed to follow local and state laws, and local law enforcement could arrest you or give you a warning. Other penalties may include:

  • Fines – You could be fined if you break the rules.
  • Warnings – You may receive a warning letter from the HOA board.
  • Restricted access – As part of your penalty, you may be restricted from using common areas like the pool or tennis courts.
  • Liens – The HOA board could impose a lien on your home. 
  • Lawsuits – You may be sued if you continue to violate the rules.

It’s essential to address any HOA issues quickly and efficiently. If you need help with your HOA, contact Haber Law today.