5 Most Common HOA Violations and How to Avoid Getting Fined (VIDEO)

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Communities managed by a Homeowners Association also known as HOA means there are rules tenants need to follow and many times residents don’t know they’re breaking HOA rules until it’s too late. Homeowners Association (HOA) communities are strict, sometimes too strict but being strict is the only way that the homes in the community will keep rising in value.

Fines vary from $30 to $150, and some communities even have daily $20 fines. The best way to know about the rules and regulations is to attend the monthly community board meetings. The professionals at the Local Records Office created a list of how to avoid being fined in Homeowners Association (HOA) communities.

1. House Design Changes

In communities that are under the Homeowners Association (HOA) making small changes like painting the trim of your house will get you a hefty fine. Some residents were fined for painting their mailboxes a different color that was not listed on the rules.

“Homeowners Association (HOA) communities can be challenging for some residents since major changes cant be done to a house. Others find it easy to live in an HOA community because everything stays the same” says, Antonio Jackson from EverGreen Homeowners Association in San Francisco, California.

2. Smoking Cigarettes, Marijuana, or Vaping

Even though smoking marijuana has become legal in many states not everyone is okay with smoking in public, many people still see it as an illegal drug. Smoking marijuana and or cigarettes might not get you arrested but it can get you fined if you smoke too close to your neighbors.

“Either someone smokes or they don’t, there isn’t anything in between. I’ve been told by residents that they despite the smell of cigarettes and especially marijuana. If a neighbor complains about the smoking habits you have a high chance of getting fined” says, Leonardo Patterson from Seven to Twenty Four Real Estate in Downtown Los Angeles, California.

3. Pets

Many Homeowners Association (HOA) communities will allow almost any pet breeds as long as they are kept on a leash when they are being walked. Pitbulls are usually the breeds that HOA will not allow by any means.

“People want to have pets so the Homeowners Association (HOA) has become a bit lean about being a pet owner over the years but many rules still imply,” says, Theodore Stevenson from Quentin Rivers LLC Real Estate in Los Angeles, California.

4. Renting Out Your Home

With the popularity of temporary home rental websites like Airbnb, Curbed, VRBO, FlipKey, and Homestay many people are looking to make a quick buck especially when residents have an extra room.

If you want to temporarily rent out one of your rooms or your entire home you will need written permission to do so since renters are most likely to not be aware of the Homeowners Association (HOA) rules.

“Making extra cash on the side is fine, but having temporary residents disturb the other residents in the community is not okay. You need to be very careful in who you rent to and you will need to tell them about the Homeowners Association (HOA) ahead of time” says, Aaron Barron from DEF Real Estate Association in Downtown Los Angeles, California.

5. Landscaping

Neglecting your lawn for a few months will most likely get you fined. Are you thinking about adding a few palms or cutting down a tree? Think again, that might get you fined too. You need to check with the Homeowners Association (HOA) to make sure what landscape can be cut or added.