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15 Common HOA Violations and How to Avoid Them

  • 4 min read
HOA Violations

Living in a community governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) comes with the promise of a well-ordered neighborhood but also a set of rules and regulations that residents are required to follow. Violating these rules can lead to fines, disputes, and a less harmonious community.

Many HOAs have strict guidelines about changes to a property’s exterior. This could include painting your home a non-approved color, adding structures like sheds, or installing new windows or doors without permission.

Avoidance Tip: Always seek approval from your HOA board before making any external modifications to your property.

An unkempt lawn is not just an eyesore but also one of the most common HOA violations. This includes overgrown grass, weeds, dead plants, or untrimmed hedges.

Avoidance Tip: Regularly mow your lawn, trim the hedges, and maintain your garden to keep it looking neat.

Leaving trash bins out long before or after collection day, or not securing trash can lids, can lead to fines.

Avoidance Tip: Adhere to the HOA’s trash collection schedule and keep bins secured and out of sight on non-collection days.

Parking violations can include parking in the wrong spot, blocking sidewalks, or leaving inoperable vehicles in driveways for extended periods.

Avoidance Tip: Follow the HOA’s parking rules, park only in designated areas, and keep the streets clear.

Loud parties, barking dogs, or other disruptive noises can violate noise regulations, especially during quiet hours.

Avoidance Tip: Keep the volume down, especially during the community’s quiet hours, and ensure pets are trained not to cause a disturbance.

Planting non-approved species or making significant changes to your yard’s landscape without consent can be a violation.

Avoidance Tip: Submit a landscaping plan to the HOA for approval before proceeding with any changes.

Erecting a fence without the HOA’s permission can lead to mandatory removal and fines.

Avoidance Tip: Obtain the correct permissions and follow the HOA guidelines on fence height, style, and material.

Excessive or untimely holiday decorations can sometimes violate HOA rules.

Avoidance Tip: Decorate within the HOA’s guidelines and remove decorations promptly when the season is over.

Some HOAs do not allow hanging laundry outside because it can detract from the community’s appearance.

Avoidance Tip: Use a dryer or hang clothes in an area not visible to neighbors or from the street.

Renting out your home through services like Airbnb might be against HOA rules or require prior approval.

Avoidance Tip: Check with your HOA for any restrictions on rentals and obtain necessary permissions.

Letting your home fall into disrepair, such as peeling paint or a broken fence, can be a violation.

Avoidance Tip: Keep your home in good repair, and address any issues as soon as they arise.

Displaying signs, banners, or flags that are not approved by the HOA could be a violation.

Avoidance Tip: Understand the HOA’s rules on signage and request permission if you wish to display anything.

HOAs often have rules about the number of pets, breeds, and leash requirements.

Avoidance Tip: Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the HOA’s pet policies.

Misusing common areas like pools, gyms, or parks can lead to issues with the HOA.

Avoidance Tip: Use common areas as intended and follow all posted rules and guidelines.

Installing overly bright, flashing, or colored lights might not be in line with HOA standards.

Avoidance Tip: Choose exterior lighting that is in harmony with the community’s guidelines and ambiance.


Understanding and adhering to your HOA’s rules can go a long way in maintaining the peace and aesthetic of your community. When in doubt, it’s always best to communicate with your HOA board to clarify any uncertainties. By being proactive and respectful of the guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of community living and avoid the hassle of HOA violations.