Living in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA) can have both benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we'll explore both sides of the coin to help you decide whether or not living in an HOA is right for you.
Living in any community means there are rules to follow. The police enforce the law by writing tickets, issuing warrants, or making arrests. Schools enforce policies for students by taking away recess, sending them to speak with the principal, or giving extra tasks to do. There are also rules when you live in a homeowners association. How strict or lenient these HOA rules can be is unique to each association, but there’s one thing all HOAs should have in common: enforcement of the rules.
People seem to have a love-hate relationship with homeowners associations. More often than not, the people that love them respect and feel protected by rules, and the people that hate them don't like the rules - these are also the people who are usually violating the rules.
When a member is violating the HOA rules, do HOAs have the ability to enforce the rules by fining the member?
One of the hottest topics when it comes to HOA rules has to do with displaying the American flag. Typically, the issue isn’t whether the flag can be displayed – your right to display the American flag is protected by Federal law – but rather how the flag is being displayed. And it’s this issue that has a homeowner in Alabama determined to keep her flagpole in the ground. Check out the following news story.
Homeowners associations are like little governments. They have an HOA board of directors that govern and oversee the association and that Board does have some powers. But where does the Board get these powers and authority to enforce their documents and rules?
Celebrating the 4th of July might look like traveling to visit friends and family, taking a vacation, or hosting you're annual block party. If you're planning on sticking close to home and barbecuing, setting up some water play for the kids, and watching fireworks in your homeowners association remind residents of the following information.
A hot topic in homeowners associations is renting out your home in the neighborhood. The primary concern for homeowners is that too many rentals will lower the quality of the HOA community, causing broken rules, problems in the neighborhood, and safety issues. While some HOAs may restrict rentals completely, others set a rental cap. Most HOAs have a rental policy that can be found in the governing documents.
An HOA board may get pushback from members in the association when it comes to rule violations. Members will get a violation letter and they'll respond back with, "How come I'm getting a violation letter when my neighbor is doing the exact same thing? You're not treating everyone the same?"
First, the member may not know that their neighbor is also receiving violation letters, but regardless, in an HOA everyone should be held to the same level of the rules and accountable to follow them. People shouldn’t be treated differently within the association. This is known as selective enforcement.
On Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veteran's Day and other patriotic holidays, many Americans show respect for their country by raising the star spangled banner or displaying it in some way on their home or in their yard. But can your homeowners association keep you from showing your patriotism and restrict you from displaying the American Flag?
Parking in a homeowner’s association is always a hot topic. From where it’s ok to park and not to park to enforcing parking rules and even issuing parking tickets, homeowners tend to be very territorial about their parking spaces - and adamant on making sure others living or visiting in the HOA don’t get away with ignoring the parking rules. That being said, sometimes you get a controlling HOA board that wants to take all parking matters into its own hands – going as far as issuing parking tickets. But can they do this?