How To Avoid HOA Fines And Go On Summer Vacation


Did you know that certain HOA fines can be around $100 per day and up to $1,000? IKO Community Management knows that you shouldn't spend hard-earned summer vacation money on HOA fines. That’s why we’re revealing exactly how to avoid the top fines this summer.

Pay your HOA fees. According to Oxford Learning, summer brain is real. As the weather warms and the countdown to family vacation nears, we tend to forget little things -- like paying our monthly HOA fees. If you don’t pay these fees, the homeowners association enacts a variety of collection measures, depending on the CC&Rs.

Adhere to community pool rules. On Memorial Day, many HOA communities open the gates to the community pool. To avoid getting fined for not adhering to the rules, brush up on pool etiquette:

  • Use your pool passes. Use neighborhood membership passes, guest passes, and/or fobs. To keep pool access, stay up to date on dues, avoid outstanding violations, and submit a completed application with photo identification.

  • Abide by the age restrictions. Children between certain ages can be unsupervised if a parent or legal guardian has given permission to pool staff. However, some pools require that children pass a lifeguard-monitored swim test and abide by the “adult swim” policy.

  • Be mindful of food and drink. Keep snacks within a certain distance of the water. Grills and other portable cooking/preparation appliances, alcoholic beverages, and glass containers are prohibited. Trash and recycling should always be properly disposed of in specified containers.
  • Don’t smoke. Most community pools prohibit smoking in the pool, inside locker rooms/dressing area and bathrooms, and within the outdoor confines of the pool.
  • Leave your pets at home. If your pool has a no-pets policy, respect it.
  • Don’t run or participate in horseplay. Don't engage in horseplay, illegal diving and jumping, roughhousing, breath-holding games, running in and around the pool, and other dangerous activities.
  • Respect lifeguards and pool managers. Their top priority is to keep your family safe. Don’t distract them by splashing in their direction, asking to touch the lifeguard tube, or talking to them on duty.

  • Keep electronic devices away from the water. Keep cell phones, music devices, laptops, and headphones at least 10 to 15 feet away from the water.
  • Use the lost and found. If you find an unattended item, place it in the lost and found and avoid taking anything from the lost and found if it’s not yours.

  • Don’t bring giant inflatables. Many HOA communities allow small pool toys, but don't bring giant inflatables and rafts out of respect for others.
  • Wear the proper attire. Guests, including non-potty-trained children, are required to wear proper bathing suit attire.

Keep your home exterior maintained. Don't forget to mow the lawn; take the trash and recycling bins in the garage; or remove your mail or newspaper from the mailbox and sidewalk for an extended period of time.

Tip: A great travel tip for security purposes and to avoid fines for overflowing mailboxes is to suspend mail and newspaper delivery while you’re on vacation.

Pick up after your pup. Evening sunshine means after-work walks for your pet. Pick up after them to avoid a small HOA fine.

Put your grill where it's safe. For apartments and condominiums that offer porches, appliances with fire must be about 15 feet from the complex.

Parking your boat or RV elsewhere. HOA rules about parking are highly enforced. Most homeowners leave a car in their driveway, and move other vehicles to the garage. However, few communities allow recreational vehicles anywhere on the residential property.

For more information about how to be a good neighbor and avoid HOA fines this summer, download our popular Guide To HOA Rules:

Download IKO's Guide to HOA Rules and Bylaws