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Understanding your HOA

When you purchase a home, you consider many factors about the house and the neighborhood. You may focus on choosing an area in a good school district or a nice downtown area. However, the Homeowner Association may be an unforeseen issue. 

The HOA has power over what you may do to your property, and failing to comply with their rules may result in fines. It is crucial to know how to handle these situations. 

HOA rules 

Community members usually run an HOA. There are common HOA rules for home buyers that you need to know about, although your community may not have regulations for all categories. 

The rules may include how many pets you may own, outdoor holiday decorations that you may put up or changes that you may make to the home’s exterior, such as a coat of paint. They also may require that you maintain your lawn and avoid putting too much storage outside. 

HOA laws 

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Develop Act governs HOA responsibilities in California. The Davis-Stirling Act includes HOA primary requirements. 

However, your neighborhood’s HOA articles must include all the rules of the Davis-Stirling Act that they want you to follow. For example, if your articles do not state rules for home decoration, the HOA may not request that you modify or remove them. 

HOA penalties 

If you do violate the terms of your HOA, you may face fines. You usually first receive a letter of violation as a warning, which requests that you make the changes required. If you do not make the changes or pay the fine, the matter may escalate to court. 

HOA exceptions 

If you believe that an HOA request is unfair, it is important to ensure that the Davis-Stirling Act and your community’s HOA articles include the rule. If they do not, then you may not have to follow it. 

You also may request that the HOA make an exception for your case if you feel that you have extenuating circumstances. In other cases, you may pay the fines and file a claim for reimbursement.