While every HOA community is different, there seems to be trends that pop up all over the place. We’ve created a list of what we at IKO Community Management see as the top 10 HOA community rule violations. Remember: All communities have different rules and guidelines. Follow this link to request your community’s guidelines.
Satellites – In most HOA communities any satellite hardware must be placed at the back of your home. Common violations of this rule include satellite equipment being installed on the front-facing roof of the residence and placing the equipment at the sides of the house.
Recreational Vehicles – Do you have a motorhome, boat, or other recreational vehicle? Make sure you’re not parking it in front of your HOA community home! Many HOA communities prohibit residents parking their recreational vehicles in front of their homes. If your HOA community home doesn’t have room on the side (that doesn’t cross into your neighbor’s property) or access to your back yard, you may be required to seek storage elsewhere.
Blocked Sidewalks – This rule is so common that we’d be surprised if your HOA community didn’t have it. This rule requires that nothing, at any time, block the sidewalks of your community. This includes vehicles, toys, trashcans, recycling bins, debris or anything else. Keep your possessions, vehicles and everything else neatly within your garage, as a good rule of thumb. Not only is blocking sidewalks unsightly, it creates a hazard for pedestrians in your community.
Trash and Recycling Bins – Here’s another very common HOA rule: Don’t take your trash bins out before 6pm and don’t leave them out past 6pm (time vary from community to community – be sure to check your community’s guidelines for specifics). This should be a fairly simple rule to follow. Simply take the trash out after dinner and bring it in when you come home from work. We all have that one neighbor who will walk right past their trash or recycling bin, leaving it out for an extra day or so. Don’t be that person! Empty bins are an eyesore (like every other violation on this list) and can cause hazards if knocked over or blown into the road.
Yard Maintenance - This, again, seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised. Basically, all HOA communities have standards to follow when it comes to the way your lawn should look. Become familiar with these rules by reading them and speaking to your neighbors to make sure that you are confident with the guidelines.
Holiday Decorations – Most communities have some sort of guidelines about when holiday decorations can be up, when they can be taken down, and what sort of decorations are permitted. Don’t ruin the holiday spirit by involving the HOA Board’s complaints in your festivities! Now that the holidays are over, be sure to check to see if your community has regulations regarding when your lights and outdoor decorations must be taken down.
Late Payments -This issue can be a huge source of tension within the HOA community. While "mind-slips" are understandable, the issue arises when someone starts to resent the rules of the HOA and doesn’t feel that they should be required to pay the fees. In order to avoid issues, simply set a reminder on your phone, or write the due date on your family’s calendar. If you’re dealing with the delinquency of one of the residents living in your community, consider mediation before making the issue into a legal battle. There may be other factors influencing the late payments.
Noise – Communities have a set time when activities that cause loud noises are permitted to begin and when they must end. An example of one of these activities would be mowing your lawn. While communities may have different times, a good example of the limitations would be from 7am to 10pm. Now, beyond this rule, please use common sense. If you’re mowing your lawn at 7am on a weekend you’re going to upset your neighbors. Be polite and considerate of your friends and neighbors.
Parking – Having friends or family over? This is the time when most violations pop up. Understandably, this might not be the first thing on your mind when company is coming over, but just make a point to know where parking is permitted and where it is prohibited in your community.
Pets – Some communities (especially condo associations) have size limits on dogs. Before you choose a pet for your family make sure that your association permits it. There’s no need for heartache down the line! Other issues that arise with pets (dogs specifically, unfortunately) are improper waste disposal (either improper or lack of) and noise issues (barking, etc.). If you’re bringing a dog home, it’s a great idea to invest in training. Crate training helps keep your puppy safe and comfortable when you’re gone for the day and obedience training helps everyone get along!
If you’re new to your HOA board or looking to move into an HOA community, hopefully this list gave you some idea of what to look out for! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact IKO Community Management.