Article Courtesy of GoBankingRates
Published April 11, 2021
Homeowners’ Associations (or HOAs) are meant to maintain
cleanliness, community utilities and a sense of order in a certain subdivision
or neighborhood. Associations are able to do this by collecting a recurring fee
those owning homes in the area pay. In exchange for use of community amenities
and tree-trimming, however, you might also be giving up some freedom you thought
was guaranteed when you owned a home.
Associations enforce rules on residents and gather money above and beyond the
usual fee by collecting fines on violations. GOBankingRates tracked down a few
of the hidden constraints an HOA might enforce.
Having people over? Be careful where they park. HOAs often have rules about
where guests can park and for how long. HOAs might even issue fees for guests to
park. On residents’ cars, HOA boards have been known to ask people to park with
their registration sticker visible to ensure the cars were registered with the
Some associations limit types of vehicles like RVs, trailers, and boats to keep
up appearances within the community.
When you bought property, you probably assumed your pets could come with you.
This isn’t always the case. Some HOAs choose to put limits on how many pets you
have and their size. Some might also prevent pets like mice, birds or reptiles.
Although most HOAs don’t limit pets altogether, it isn’t unheard of. More
commonly, HOAs do put restrictions on where you can walk your dogs and whether
they need to be leashed. However, HOAs do not have the ability to prevent
If you’re always wanted a pool or a yard with a picket fence, an HOA might stand
between you and your dreams. Typically, the associations decide on an aesthetic
that the whole community abides by and anything outside of that enforced
standard is not allowed. This can include things like fencing for privacy,
planting trees, house color, political signs and even holiday decorations.
Adding onto your house becomes a group discussion with some associations. Adding
a story or knocking down a wall could be a disturbance to neighbors in some way.
For some HOAs, home renovations need approval before they’ve begun. If you skip
the approval process, you run the risk of having the association asking you to
remove the addition.
If you’re having a party that goes past 10pm, some associations say neighbors
have the right to complain to the HOA board, and you can receive a fine. These
rules are usually enforced with “quiet hours” commonly observed as anything
outside of 7am-10pm.
Although most of us have probably been taking out the trash since we were kids,
some HOAs would insist we’re doing it wrong. Some associations demand trash be
tied up or sealed, and cans for garbage and recycling be put in very specific
places on the property.
Rules around trash are commonly enforced to prevent pest infestations or wild
animals from getting in close quarters with homes.