Living in an HOA doesn’t have to be an exercise in prim and proper home ownership. Understanding what you can and can’t do goes a long way in maintaining the peace and tranquility in your neighborhood.
Here are the basic do’s and don’t’s of HOA living.
DO pay your assessments on time. If you are unable to pay by the due date, contact your Board of Directors or association manager to arrange a payment schedule. Some HOA dues are due at the beginning of January and with Christmas just passing it may sometimes be a financial strain.
DON’T not pay and pretend it will go away. Come June you may find yourself with a lien against your home. A lien can be foreclosed upon and the HOA could take your home for unpaid assessments or start legal action to collect the delinquent assessments. This recourse is mentioned in your Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.
DO keep your home and areas around your home properly maintained. This does not mean you must manicure your grass daily but it does mean you should cut your grass routinely and keep your planting beds free of excess weeds. Edging sidewalks, driveways and street edges can go a long way to sprucing up your home.
DON’T leave boats, campers or cars in disrepair in your driveway. This is typically a big no-no in a deed restricted community. If allowable, consider putting your boat or camper behind a privacy fence. If you must work on your car, truck or motorcycle make sure that you can do it in a garage or have space in the garage to move it to when not working on it.
DO ask approval for any improvements to your property prior to starting your project. Any exterior improvement such as fencing, screen enclosures, additions or a change in exterior color will require approval from the Architectural Review Board. These requests are usually reviewed within 30 days of receipt and require the addition to be drawn on a copy of your boundary survey. You received a copy of your survey at closing.
These are just some of the basics of peaceful living in a deed restricted community. For the complete list refer to your Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions that you received at closing. If you do not have a copy, contact your Board of Directors or the association manager for a copy.