Understanding what HOAs can regulate

Understanding what HOAs can regulate

In general, homeowner’s associations may regulate many concerns that impact shared amenities and private portions of a neighborhood. One of the intended benefits of a homeowner’s association (HOA) is to keep property values high. It is helpful to know what homeowner’s associations can regulate as part of their purpose to maintain uniformity and functionality of the neighborhood.

What HOAs can regulate

Homeowner’s associations can typically regulate:

  • The exterior of the structures including shingles, siding and exterior paint;
  • The lawn and landscaped areas including fences, shrubs and hedges;
  • The landscaping including what is planted;
  • Recreational areas and structures for children including swing sets, basket hoops and others;
  • Common areas;
  • Noise concerns;
  • Home-based businesses;
  • Mailbox areas;
  • Tool sheds and other out buildings; and
  • Pets

Specific examples

Specific examples of regulations can include small dogs but not large dogs are permitted; swing sets are allowed in back yards; or that gardens are permitted but they cannot be fenced in. Homeowner’s associations may also be involved in renovations that are done to ensure they meet neighborhood requirements. HOA’s may also become involved in repairs and also collect fees from homeowners to support their efforts.

Enforcement of regulations

It may be necessary to enforce these regulations. Enforcing them may mean enforcing them against neighbors in the community which can at times be challenging. It is important that the HOA itself has legal protections in place which includes drafting governing documents that will protect them and provide the authority they need to enforce community rules and insurance that will protect them in the event of legal action. It is important for homeowner’s associations to be familiar with the legal tools to help them achieve that.