People choose to live in areas with homeowners associations (HOAs) because they’re willing to pay extra money every month for the services that the HOA provides and the advantages of living in a controlled neighborhood. For instance, perhaps the HOA offers to cut grass and do general maintenance on the grounds so that the neighborhood looks beautiful and inviting, rather than allowing homeowners to choose how much they will do alone. The HOA may also provide a swimming pool, tennis courts and other outdoor areas that everyone can enjoy.
However, even though people know they live under HOA rules, they do not always follow those rules. Here are some of the more common violations:
- Letting landscaping and plants that are not trimmed by the HOA become overgrown
- Parking vehicles in areas where they are not allowed
- Illegally renting out the home or apartment to a third party
- Putting the trash containers in the wrong spots or leaving them by the street
- Putting up improper decorations, such as holiday decorations at the wrong time of year
- Having pets that break HOA rules by barking too much, running free, etc
- Smoking where it is not permitted, such as in public areas
- Making architectural changes to the home without approval
Sometimes, violations happen accidentally. Someone may believe they are just making a minor cosmetic change that is permitted when they’re really violating the rules. In other cases, though, people deliberately ignore the rules and do what they want, regardless of the agreement that they signed. They may see the HOA as intrusive or unreasonable.
No matter what happened, these types of issues can lead to some serious disputes, and it is important for those involved to know what steps to take and what legal options they have to resolve their problems.