Homeowners associations can serve many purposes. While some homeowners may not like the idea of having a group control what they can and cannot do with their property, these associations can ensure that one person does not cause unnecessary problems for other residents of the same neighborhood. These associations could also help keep property value up as there is less chance of neighboring properties becoming unkempt or otherwise causing problems that could decrease the value of your property.
When you first bought your home and moved into the neighborhood, you may have felt welcome and did not feel constrained by the covenants set forth by the HOA. However, some people do not handle power of any kind well, and you may have recently found yourself in a squabble with a member of the HOA who wants to inflict more control than allowed.
What can an HOA regulate?
Maybe the issue started because you changed something to your property that a member of the HOA did not like. You may have gone over the covenants and restrictions for your neighborhood and found nothing against the change you made. Some common aspects of property and a neighborhood that the HOA can restrict and regulate include the following:
- Placement and types of additional buildings on the property, such as tool sheds or detached garages
- Color, siding and types of material used on a home
- Swing sets and other play equipment for children
- Noise levels or hours during which noise should be at a minimum
- Fencing and shrubbery
- Pets, such as breeds of dog not allowed in the neighborhood or size limitations
The regulations for a particular neighborhood can vary, depending on the HOA. You likely did a thorough review of the covenants before moving into your home to determine whether you could live with the restrictions, and while you have abided by those rules, it seems as if the HOA, or at least one of its members, is now not playing fair.
What can you do?
If you believe that your neighborhood homeowners association is trying to restrict your activity in ways that do not align with the agreed-upon covenants, codes and restrictions, you may wonder what to do. After all, you want to maintain a pleasant neighborhood as much as your neighbors, but you do not feel that one member of the HOA with a personal vendetta should have the ability to add new limitations to your property use.
If discussing the issue with the conflicting HOA member did not have the desired results, and other members of the HOA do not seem inclined to help your case, you may want to consider your legal options. Discussing the matter with a California attorney experienced in HOA-related litigation may allow you to better understand how you can address the ordeal.