7 Most Common HOA Violations

HOA violations

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a significant role in maintaining order and preserving the quality of life within many residential communities. By enforcing rules and regulations, HOAs aim to uphold a standard of appearance and behavior in their neighborhoods. However, homeowners often find themselves inadvertently breaching these rules, leading to violations that can cause friction and even lead to fines. Here are the seven most common HOA violations encountered by homeowners:

  1. Landscaping Issues
    Landscaping is a prominent issue in many HOAs, as it directly impacts the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood. Common violations include not mowing the lawn regularly, allowing weeds to overrun gardens, and neglecting to trim hedges or trees that may block sidewalks or extend into public spaces. Additionally, planting non-approved species or making significant changes to garden layouts without HOA approval can also lead to violations.
  2. Improper Trash Disposal
    Another frequent violation is the improper disposal of trash. This includes placing bins out too early before collection day, not bringing them in timely after trash has been picked up, or using non-standard bins. Some associations have strict rules about where trash bins should be stored, typically out of sight, such as in a garage or behind a fence, to maintain the neighborhood’s neat appearance.
  3. Unauthorized Exterior Changes
    Making changes to the exterior of a home, such as painting the house in a non-approved color, installing fences or sheds, or changing windows or doors without permission, can lead to conflicts with the HOA. Most associations have specific guidelines on architectural styles and colors to ensure a cohesive look throughout the community.
  4. Parking and Vehicle Violations
    Parking issues are commonly cited by HOAs. Violations may include parking in non-designated areas, parking commercial vehicles in the neighborhood, or excessive or long-term parking on the street. Some associations also have regulations against parking recreational vehicles, boats, or trailers within the community.
  5. Noise Complaints
    Noise complaints are a significant issue within dense residential areas. Common violations involve loud parties, playing music at high volumes, or other disturbances that exceed noise level guidelines, especially during the community’s quiet hours. HOAs enforce these rules to ensure all residents enjoy a peaceful living environment.
  6. Pet Policy Non-Compliance
    Many HOAs have specific rules regarding pets, including limits on the number of pets a homeowner can have, leash requirements, and areas where pets are allowed or prohibited. Additionally, failing to pick up after one’s pet or having a pet that is a nuisance due to noise can also be a violation.
  7. Neglecting Home Maintenance
    HOAs often have standards regarding the upkeep and appearance of homes. This can include peeling paint, broken fixtures, unkempt yards, and general disrepair. Homeowners are typically required to keep their property in good condition to avoid diminishing the aesthetic value and overall appeal of the neighborhood.

To avoid these common HOA violations, homeowners should familiarize themselves with their association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Staying informed about the rules, attending HOA meetings, and engaging with the community can help prevent violations. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to reach out to the HOA board or management for clarification on specific regulations. By maintaining open communication and adhering to the community guidelines, homeowners can ensure a harmonious living environment for everyone in the neighborhood.