The Ins and Outs of HOA Rules

In your search for a community to call home, you have probably come across the term ‘HOA’ or Homeowners Association. This entity comes up with rules and regulations to govern a community of people living in a particular neighborhood. If you decide to live in an area under a HOA, it’s important to fully understand what this entity is and the kind of rules it enforces. This article discusses the ins and outs of HOA to help you make an informed decision.

What Is a Homeowners Association?

This is a group of members who enforce rules and oversee neighborhood matters with the goal of maintaining a good quality of life for community members. While HOAs come up with rules that govern neighborhoods, these rules need to adhere to local, state, and federal laws. In fact, HOAs can’t create rules that contradict such laws. For instance, they can’t prohibit you from installing solar panels on your property if the state allows.

This is to say that there are legal limitations to the extent of the rules HOA can enforce. For instance, HOA can’t restrict political speech on your property or regulate indoor noise levels. However, they can help you deal with noisy neighbors or restrict pets.

How Does an HOA Work?

HOAs are run by a board of directors elected by resident homeowners. The board members need to be residents of that community. As long as you’re living in a HOA, you have the right to elect board members or ask for certain rules to be reviewed and amended. HOAs often collect fees for trash collection, amenities, and property maintenance, among other activities. They also have the right to raise fees for certain activities.

The Common Types of Rules HOAs Enforce

Most HOA rules have to do with how a resident maintains their property, especially the exterior area. Some of the common rules they enforce include the following:


HOAs have guidelines about how to do renovations. For things like reflooring tiles, kitchen renovations, plumbing, and electrical work, you will need a permit before starting.


HOAs may have rules about the paint color for your home, days to water your lawns, when to take out the trash, setting off fireworks, hanging laundry outside, or performing approved renovation on certain days and times.


HOAs can have rules about the number of pets one is allowed to own. They can also prohibit certain breeds or varieties. Some HOAs allow chickens, and others don’t.


HOAs enforce rules that will ensure your lifestyle doesn’t have a negative impact on other residents. In terms of noise, they will have a.m. and p.m. guidelines for noise, especially loud music or noise from construction workers.

Shared Amenity Use

Lastly, HOAs also have rules about using shared amenities or communal areas like swimming pools, parking spots, gyms, etc. They regulate who can use these amenities and at what time.

How Does an HOA Enforce The Rules

HOAs come with a legal document for residents to abide by. You’ll be given this document before purchasing your home. Just like other important documents, it’s essential to read all the rules to know what you’re agreeing to. The job of the HOA board is to enforce these rules you have agreed to follow. In addition, the board has a plan in place if someone breaks these rules. If you break the rules, there are consequences. For minor infractions, you might get a warning. In worst cases, you may be fined or asked to evict.

HOAs are there to ensure community members live in harmony with each other. They also play a role in maintaining a certain aesthetic in the community. Since HOA rules will determine your stay in a certain community, ensure you read the rules carefully to see if that neighborhood is the right fit for you.

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