For individuals that want a more regimented approach to their community, a house covered by a home owner’s association (HOA) offers a number of benefits. They can provide amenities, a means of controlling property values, and they may take care of chores such as mowing. An HOA also comes with a variety of rules and regulations.

HOAs are very meticulous about their guidelines and have no problem enforcing them which can result in a hefty fine. It’s critical that individuals know the rules in their community before erecting a fence or making any major changes that have the potential of running afoul of the HOA. Always obtain written HOA approval before initiating any changes.


There will be rules governing the height of a fence, the type of materials that are acceptable for use, and even regulations as to if you can install a fence at all. You could face fines for every day that the fence violates HOA rules or you could be forced to move it, alter it, or completely take it down.


If you’re looking to add a little distinction with a colorful new door or other outwardly visible change – think again. HOAs view violations of conformity, appearance, overall style and aesthetics very seriously.

Holiday Decorations

Another common area in which HOAs regulate the environment is through holiday decorations. An HOA will have guidelines for when holiday decorations can go up, when they must be taken down, and the type of decorations that are allowable. The HOA will determine the hours during which the lights can be operated and sound levels for animated or inflatable decorations.

Pets and People

The breed, size and number of pets allowed will be strictly enforced, while some HOAs ban pets of any kind. There will also be restrictions in place as to the number of people that can occupy a home and the length of time that someone can stay for an extended visit.

Other Guidelines

HOAs typically have rules about where trash receptacles can be stored, their placement when it’s time for trash pick-up, how long they can be left in sight, and recycling. If you live in an HOA, there will be regulations about where you can park vehicles and a pass may need to be requested for visitors. Don’t forget to keep up the HOAs maintenance standards on your home and fence.

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