1. House Design Changes

Most rules found in most HOA CC&Rs are architectural standards and covenants surrounding the exterior or appearance of houses.

Before a homeowner can do a paint job, install a new mailbox, add a patio or deck, or make any exterior modification, they must first secure a written approval from the HOA’s design / architecture review committee.

Some condo associations also require ARC requests for some interior improvements as well. All these can be found in your governing documents.

2. Landscaping

Landscaping is also a part of a property’s exterior. As such, it should be well-kept and compliant to HOA guidelines. There shouldn’t be overgrown weeds and lawns. Some CC&Rs also limit the types of trees and plants that can be grown and where they can be located on the property.

3. Exterior storage

In order to prevent clutter, HOAs often limit what types of equipment owners may store outside their house. Bicycles and kayaks should be stored away from plain sight. Many rules also prevent owners from adding a storage structure that’s unattached to the house.

4. Parking

HOAs often regulate the number and types of motor vehicles that can be parked per property. If an owner has guests over who are bringing a car, they have to clear guest parking with the HOA first. This is regardless of whether they are visiting only for a couple of hours or a couple of days.

5. Trash

To avoid attracting pests and making the neighborhood look shabby, HOAs have regulations about when owners can put their trash cans out at the curb.

Leaving trash earlier or not bringing them in by a certain time can have an owner penalized. There are also guidelines for throwing out big, bulky items like a piece of furniture and boxes.

6. Holiday Decorations

Many HOAs have restrictions on the size and type of decor allowed, as well as how long before and after a holiday owners can decorate their home’s exterior.

7. Pets

HOAs have rules on pets to keep their members of the community safe and comfortable. These include the number of pets per house, specific breeds allowed, where pets can be walked, picking up after their pet, and if they should be kept on leash outdoors at all times.

Some owners claim that their pet is a service animal in order to get around the pet rules of the community. 

8. Noise

HOAs commonly restrict loud noises between certain hours. Even if the HOA doesn’t have a noise restriction written in its CC&R, most cities and counties have noise ordinances.

9. Smoking

Smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and marijuana (if legal or authorized for medical purposes) is generally allowed in HOA-governed communities. However, it shouldn’t create a nuisance with the neighbors who may complain about it to the board.

Smoking is also prohibited in many common areas.

10. Rentals

Most HOAs have rules about subletting for several good reasons, including security and keeping the peace in the community. Before owners can rent out their property, it needs to be cleared by the HOA first and a written permission should be secured.


Photos by Jim Reardan, Mathieu Renier, Yeh Xintong, and Andres Siimon on Unsplash