Are you abiding by the rules in your homeowners association? When you move into a homeowners association you become part of a neighborhood that is governed by a board of directors who enforce the rules of the Association. When you sign the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) of the Association, you are entering into an agreement that you will abide by the rules of the Association community. This often means you’re limited to the improvements you can make to your property (like paint color of your home, landscaping, or decorative components), whether or not you can have pets, noise restrictions, etc.
The rules vary by Association. You should know what they are before you purchase your home because you should be given a copy of the CC&Rs that state the rules. Even still, it’s often easy to forget them or not completely understand them in the first place. Read the article below for tips to remind you to check the rules in your Association.
Posted by SFGATE Home Guides
How to Live by Homeowners Association Rules
1. Read a copy of the association's rules and regulations before purchasing a home in the neighborhood. Many homeowners do not receive a copy of these regulations until already in escrow; this can lead to a horrific discovery by the homeowner of personal preference restrictions later on down the road.
2. Attend homeowners' association meetings to keep abreast of changes in rulings and to have a voice during discussions involving changes or additional restrictions.
3. Check your homeowners' regulations before planting trees and other foliage, erecting play equipment in the backyard, or changing the color scheme of a home. Stick to specified guidelines regarding upkeep of the yard and outside appearance to avoid incurring fines.
4. Only rent out your home if it is allowed in the association guidelines. Some homeowners' associations have strict rules against renting out your home to others. Give approved renters a copy of rules and regulations that comply with the association. Ensure the regulations are properly outlined in the rental agreement.
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Make sure you read the communications sent out by the board, attend board meetings regularly to stay informed, and follow the rules in your homeowners association. The rules are there to make the community a comfortable and safe place to live. It’s up to the HOA board to enforce the rules and it’s up to you as a member in the HOA to live by them – and give yourself a refresher from time to time.