How Much Power Do HOAs Have?

Leave a Comment - 89



Subject: Vigilante resident

In our community of about 30 homes, there lives one resident that is on a power-trip. The other neighbors are happy with what we think is an attractive and well maintained community and we appreciate the work that the HOA board members do to keep it that way. But this neighbor wants the Board to make monthly tours of the community and levy fines on home that does not meet her standard. Since they refuse, she completes this walk herself and photographs anything she finds amiss. This includes tiny areas of flaking paint on a house, near the ground and often behind shrubs, or a plant she thinks needs trimming, Sometimes she takes photos of cars that are backed into carports because, while she cannot see the plates, she suspects that they may not have a current registration. When she has a collection of these, she reports the owners to the city blight department who must investigate. Sometimes they issue an order to fix the problem, but often they find nothing. They have now asked her to stop unless complaint is enforceable. She as no support in the community, but the residents are being held under her thumb with seeming no recourse to halt her harassment.

I know HOAs get a bad name, but can something be done about out of control residents.

Cristina Vargas

Subject: HOA abusive and doing things illegally

I live in Dahlia in Plantation, FL. My husband and I and most residents are not happy with our HOA. They are very arbitrary in their decisions and only care about trivial things instead of focusing on what it matters: better security, better cleaner common areas, better lighting, etc. Recently the HOA removed from our garden 13 palms that have been there for years, since we moved 6 years ago. Suddenly these palms became a "landscape violation" and they removed them with not permits from the City of Plantation. They also removed 2 beautiful Royal Palms from the common area, because the Vice-President said the fruits from the palms was going to her Air Conditioner. Again, these were removed illegally. Now the HOA is charging us a fine of $425.00 for the removal of these palms from my garden. I think this is way too wrong. The palms were there before we moved and were removed illegally with not good reason and now we have to pay for this? Any comments will be welcome.


Subject: Kangroo Fees

Hi Cristina:

Did you investigated whether or not they offered you an appeals process? I'm not in FL but I would imagine the Davis Sterling Act would apply and make their fee illegal. But that is something you might want to check into... Good Luck!


Subject: Our hoa board won't do

Our hoa board won't do anything about my neighbors AC that will cycle off every 10 minutes with a loud bang. I hear it in every room in my house. Our rules and regs clearly explains noise nuisances. They won't send the owner a letter to fix it and said I should call our city hall and let them handle it.. HELP!!!!

Kristie Morrison

Subject: condo in SC

I own a condo in MB SC. The lady on the 2nd floor condo broke her main water pipe behind her refrigerator. Totally flooded my first floor condo. She had no homeowner's. So HOA is taking care of structure. Master deed states that co-owner shall be responsible for obtaining such amounts of the following types of insurance, as he deems necessary. hazard hazard on contents, liability. HOA is saying they it is not mandatory for there residents to not have homeowners. I will most likely sell after is re done. Should I be talking to a lawyer about this? I had to go through my homeowners and pay my deductible. While the lady upstairs paid for nothing.

James Striker

Subject: Damage by neighbor

1. You should read all your HOA documents very carefully to verify that the HOA is following them correctly. 2. If the HOA is not responsible then your damage claim will be against the neighbor in small claims court. Your neighbor is responsible to maintain their equipment that is under their personal control.

Galyna Fishman

Subject: Fence on HOA property

Our HOA representative come to inspect our future fence, we put stakes where we plan to do fence, after we put fence, our neighbor write complain about our and neighbor fence, from another side, HOA come to inspect, this time they said, that we need move fence very close to the house, huge amount of land will be unattended which end at the lake on our property, they state, that this is land of HOA. What is our wrights?
Please respond, and what we need to do about it?

James Striker

Subject: fence encroachments

To avoid all property conflicts you should have a licensed surveyor place stakes to identify the property lines. Or have a meeting with the HOA and you bring your property map and have the HOA bring their property map and work it out. I do not believe you would be allowed to fence in HOA common area thus restricting use of that property by the association. (all residents share paying property taxes on common area.) You might be able to sign an encroachment agreement to maintain the area for the HOA so it remains looking nice.

Crystal M

Subject: HOA's who pays???

I am currently looking for a rental in PA but as I look I'm questioning renters must pay homeowner HOA's. Are renters required to pay HOA's for the homeowner? If so can the renter recoup the fees back through the Rent Rebate Program? I understand paying a HOA application fee without being able to recoup the fee. If forced to pay the HOA for the homeowner; does that give me rights to attend meetings and deal with the HOA if I have problems? Can I negotiate with the homeowner over rent if I must pay HOA's? Please help confused over this issue.

Edward Currin

Subject: HOAs, who pays

If you are in a renting situation, I would not enter into a lease with a landlord and have to appease a HOA asst. as well. Thats like having 2 bosses and you paying one of them!!!!

Gina and Will

Subject: HOA owned underground sprinkler system

Our home is a single family home in an adult community. We own the home as fee simple and pay property taxes on our lot and block but pay a $210 fee each month for lawn care and the water from the community wide sprinkler system as well as the amenities in the clubhouse including a pool. The association says the landscape company has unfettered access to the underground sprinkler system on all properties. That is fine for turn ons and shut offs. However, for four straight years, we have had broken pipes under our property. (My husband thinks we are at the end of the line and maybe they don't blow out the system sufficiently.) In any case, when they come to dig, they just throw the soil all over the adjacent areas and take no care to put it on a tarp or in a wheelbarrow (clearly tools they have on their trucks). As a result, when they leave the soil never goes back in the whole correctly and we are left with sink holes that we have to buy soil for to fill the holes properly so we don't fall on the uneven ground they leave us with. Then, we have to address the damage to the surrounding areas as well.

Recently, they came and dug up the mulched bed in front of our home to repairs a leak and just threw the mulch and soil together onto the lawn. (My husband still works full time and spent three solid weekends on this bed.) Then they threw the mixture of dirt and mulch all back on top of our ground covers burying half of them which would have killed these established plants. They also did not sweep up after themselves and left pipe behind for us to dispose of. When we called the community manager, she laughed at us and basically said it was no big deal. We told her under no circumstances is this company to come onto our property unsupervised for the purposes of repairing that system because they always leave a costly mess and a hazard for us to pay to repair. She and the board have ignored our email in this regard.

This is in NJ. Does anyone know if we can legally deny them unfettered access for this one purpose? We do not interfere with their cutting the lawn even though they are hacking away at everyone's property and have even carelessly cut plantings in half with their weed whackers. This company, according to the board members, has threatened to raise prices or not bid the job if anyone interferes with its work. The community manager is always making excuses for the contractors, and treats residents, who are not on boards and committees, with disdain and indifference when they complain. We feel like these bullying tactics are in some way Elder Abuse. Any comments?

James Striker

Subject: sprinkler repair access rights

This can get complicated. You must read all your HOA documents, C&Rs, etc. If you own the property your house is on there must be some agreement or statement somewhere in the HOA docs stating access requirements for HOA landcare. Also get a copy of the landcare contract. If the Board signed a contract that excluded responsibility for damage by the contractor then the Board made a mistake. You probably will need to speak with an attorney that specializes in HOAs and property rights. You should form a group of neighbors to share the cost. If you do most of the leg work and research first the less time your lawyer will need to provide an answer.
Why does the HOA pay to maintain your lawn and then let it get damaged by the people maintaining it? Very frustrating. Their are a lot of issues at play beyond the property access rights which need to be corrected.


Subject: Extended patio changes

I wanted to change the extended screen on top of my patio for a solid roof. Received an approval from my HOA. The contractor had the permit. The contractor put us off for 2 years so we finally cancelled them. They went out of business. We had a hurricane. After the hurricane, the HOA made a ruling that the homes with extended screened roofs could not be changed for a solid roof. We still want to do it. Is it legal for them to deny us this or are we legally grandfathered in whenever we want to do this?

James Striker

Subject: HOA approval expiration

Usually approvals have an expiration date. Review the HOA documents regarding the project approval process. If there is no "work must start by" date then your case has some merit. But then, how long would a judge consider a reasonable amount of time to wait? Over 2 years is a long time. And a major storm event initiated the change. I recommend learning about why they changed the rules. If there is a concern about your roof blowing off then you can change the design so that will not happen. Once your learn what the Board was thinking then you can form an plan of action.

Americo A DeLeo

Subject: PATIO

we bough a condo in Boca Raton Fl. and came with a patio 48" wide i get a letter from the board that I must cut it back to 36" and if I dont they have somebody to take the pavers were down when I bought the condo the person before and the person him total 8 years. what right do I hsve


Subject: Fines

Can legal action be taken against a homeowner in a condo building with minimum rent is 30 days and someone rents for a week or two? How much authority does the board and HOA have? If you own the property they cant take it from you can they? What legal action can be taken against the condo owner? Please someone respond ASAP!

James Striker

Subject: renting restrictions

You must read the condo documents that were part of purchase of the unit. You are part of an property association. Yes, the condo can restrict lease terms and they can enforce the rule using fines. But these restrictions must be in writing. Make sure any changes in the rules were performed properly. Usually property cannot be taken unless so many fines build up that it triggers a lean and then the foreclosure process. Not paying dues will get make a lean on the property appear much faster.

r u kidding

Subject: Community Association Institute

The Community Association Institute does not speak for the homeowners. People living in an HOA were never provided proper disclosures and were never told they have signed their rights away living in one. CAI claims they are an educational group when in fact according to the IRS they are a trade organization. They Lobby for power to the association at any cost. Their surveys are based on lies and not based on the majority of homeowners subjected to this nightmare costing people their homes.


Subject: Back yard rights 2015

There is a new law that was past last year. To the home owners leaving with the HOA. We can build anything we want on our backyards with out HOA permits. Only on our backyards.

Marilyn Rodriguez

Subject: Can you ;please provide me a link or More Information?

Dear Sir/Ma'am:
HOA President Joslyn of The Courtyards, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is denying me to build a fence in my backyard unless I build my fence next to my neighbor's fence, so they will be side by side. Instead of using my neighbor's fence on one side and build the rest of my fence in my backyard.In addition to that, HOA Joslyn wants me leave a gap, wide enough for someone to walk between both fences. This would allow trespasses to walk between both fences from the street. We don't live in a nice neighborhood but in a crime area. Can you please provide me the information I need to build my fence in my backyard? Thank you.

Elena Iturrizaga

Subject: HOA is ordering me to change the color of my house

Has a HOA of a suburb in Colorado the power to order me the change of the complete body of the house and also the color of the garage doors with the same new color of the body of the house?

Please answer me I am going t loose the sale of my house because of this abusive people.

Janet doody

Subject: Wetlands

We have 3 protected wetlands. The housing additions could not be built unless these were maintained. It is a migration route . They are ligation wet lands. 2 rules no mowing 15 feet and no spraying. They are spraying and mowing 3 feet. Elite Property Management of Indiana says they will do whatever the board says even though it violates state law. They plan to pass the fines to homeowners. They are up to $25,000 per day. They are not an environmentally friendly company. Can they be above the law?

Michelle B

Subject: HOA Nightmare

Three years ago I made a lease agreement to purchase a property in an area with an HOA. I drove three states to a nature area with campers trailers and such and wished to put up a tent until a more suitable structure could be placed on the land as it was only temporary dwelling and we needed to clear out the land a bit more. I spoke with the board the very day I arrived and they denied me. I had no title or deed nor home on the property yet three years later they are trying to collect HOA fees and are threatening debt collection. Its funny I dont own the land nor paid off the lease agreement to the seller nor get a statement for property taxes in the lease it stated the land would revert back to the seller. These folks are hounding me about their fees for spending one day on their property. What can they do and what should I do?


Subject: florida condo assoc

When volunteering for a committee can a condo association ask on a form if an owner is a full time or part time resident?

Pete Lintner

Subject: External Modifications

My HOA Guidelines state that fences must be 4 feet high, made of wood and cannot extend further than 5 feet past the back of the home.
Most of the fences in the neighborhood are aluminum or plastic, many are six feet high and at least 14 extend halfway or further up the side of the home typically to enclose a side door. These modifications have been approved by the HOA. I requested to build a 4 foot black aluminum fence and asked to extend it half up one side of the house to enclose a side door. My request was denied and my appeal was denied with no reason other than it did not meet the guidelines. Can they do that?

clis fenton

Subject: Discrimination INtimidation Threats Illegal Activity Racism HOA

The HOA where I live ( LA Ca) Incorporated so that they could "seize" the condo from landlady who is arrears in her dues. That was 2 yrs ago. They wanted me out so they could easily claim it. The past 2 yrs. I have been threatened ( HOA sect.) called racist remarks, terrorized, my condo has been broken into "with keys" my dog terrorized and locked in bathroom and because I have an online business that I conduct wherever, the park - coffee house, boyfriends etc- they are fining my the estate daily. I have repeatedly asked for any CC&R's that state I cannot have an online business- none are forthcoming. The HOA break the rules daily, ( at least half have home businesses ) but they turn around and make up things I have violated and fine. My landlady has died, the condo is in probate.
the last thing they did was change the locks to the laundry and garbage, everyone got a key but me. I have reported this to everyone- I have multiple police reports, fair housing, consumer affairs- no help. .Are there any laws to stop these monsters? the Sect. of the HOA is a felon who was in jail for accessory to murder so being threatened by her is rather serious.


Subject: Seek an attorney

You really need legal help from an attorney who specializes in dealing with these issues. I would find someone who has a reputation of being a past State's Attorney in their background simply because that person is extremely networked and can make things happen. You may also be entitled to damages - Breaking and entering, harassment, interruption of your home business -- but you will need proof of the extent of damages suffered and a dollar amount to correspond with fair market value of any losses. I hope you maintained a log with dates, names, times, etc. to submit as evidence and do not release your only copy but make a copy to release so it doesn't get 'lost'. Among the things you should sue for at the reimbursement cost for your attorney and court filing costs. If you are a protected class of citizen (black, latino, female over 50, gay, etc.) that status can help with the harassment claim being more than simply a fight over property. The costs you rack up will cost their HOA to defend and for them to defend that claim, the entire HOA community for that residence will be eating the cost of their defense costs -- so they will want to settle quickly.


Subject: HOA Assessment

I was given written permission to install a gate like the others on the property, and to remove the bushes in order to put the gate in and be functional. I did just that. The HOA said I removed many more bushes, removed dirt, removed rocks, etc... and I did not. There were pictures taken by the previous home owners for that back area because that is where the pool is and the fence area in question is clearly visible showing that there weren't any bushes where they claim there was, there wen't any rocks, and no dirt was removed. Only bushes removed to intall gate; I sent all the pictures to HOA via Association and e-mailed letter and pictures, as well. I did not hear anything from them. Now, over one year later, I just received an assessment for $630.00 to replace what they put in (bushes, dirt, rocks) on Monday of this week. I did not get an itemization and they are clearly making me pay for what I have not done. I live in CA; how can I see an itemization, and argue this injustices? This is a clear example of association abuse of power! Who can I contact?


Subject: Can HOA lease land?

recently our HOA made a decision, and signed a contract, agreeing to lease a portion of land (common area) to verizon for 5 years. this decision wa made in executive session, and without home owner vote or input. is this legal?


Subject: Landscaping

We have a virus in the grass in our community, and it's dying. The president stated that the hoa would take care of the front and side, as this can be seen from the street but the back is down to the homeowner. We pay a hefty hoa fee for our lawns to be taken care of, so in effect we are paying twice. Surely its down to the hoa to remedy this.


Subject: corrupt president of board of directors

The president of our how has been in office for 13 years and manipulates many of the elderly owners who question his decisions. We have not had a functioning pool for4 months and repairs won't be started for another month due to poor maintenance. We pay the highest how fees in the county though cannot discuss the issues with the president or board as it is an old boy network. Is it usual for a president to be on the board for so many years? Thanks in advance!!


Subject: HOA fees

Are we allowed to see where all of the money collected from us is actually going. Can we vote to hire another company or
run it ourselves? The company used has a 1/5 review.


Subject: HOA records

Depending upon the state, but in CA, and likely in your state, the members of the association are "entitled to inspect the records". In fact, you have the right to copies of them at your request. The HOA does have the right to charge you reasonable copy fees. Good reading: The David-Stirling Act.

Cheryl Hilton

Subject: Hoa dues

HOA are required to have at least one meeting per year and present the budget to all homeowners. If you do not go to the meetings and vote to accept the buget you forfeit your voice for that year. We have 122 members and 9 showed up. Attend your HOA meetings.

Gerald j Krenner

Subject: HOA , ARC guidelines

recently my HOA, ARC added a new guideline for improvements to properties. The new guideline states additions to lanais cannot extend out more than 10' out from the rear of the house. I proposed a lanai addition extending 10' out but also added a screened enclosure over an adjacent patio which extends 20' out from the rear of the house. They denied my proposal because the screened enclosure extended out 20'. Claiming the screened enclosure was a lanai addition. In another guideline they require screen enclosures over pools. I can only assume the pool can only be 5' wide, based on the 10' maximum depth for my enclosure. In other words it doesn't make sense. Also they passed the new guideline in June of this year, they didn't post, it to their website until after I submitted my application. I thought a new rule needed to be posted prior to taking affect. Thanks


Subject: HOA Board Members

We moved into our home (in Texas) about a year and a half ago with full understanding there was a HOA. However, since we arrived, we have not been advised of who the board members are, when or where the meetings, if any, are held. A week ago, we received a letter from them stating we were past due on our dues and that they were going to initiate legal action if we didn't pay. I tried calling the number on the letter, but was given an email address to contact. The point is that I have not been able to speak to anyone that will give me answers regarding the breakdown of the statement nor if there is someone we can talk to at the local level.

My question is - are the board members supposed to be "top secret". Is there a state agency that governs these organizations? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.



Subject: HOA Board Members

The Board of Directors should be available with either email addresses or phone numbers. I sit on the Board of Directors in an HOA in PA, we have annual meetings which homeowners can attend and the budget and financial report is distributed at the annual meeting. We do not have many homeowners attend unfortunately but every homeowner is entitled to the financial report and budget.
Our Association has a quarterly newsletter which includes the Boards names, phone number and email addresses. We also have a 'hotline' that residents may call and we respond within 24 hours to any issues.
Every state is different regarding HOAs, you will have to do some research on the laws pertaining to HOAs in your state.
I hope this was helpful.


Subject: HOA Board Members


I would first try and Google your association and see if they have a website that will give you contact information. Next, I am not sure about the State of Texas but check your Secretary of State website and do an organization search. In some states you can view the annual report filed for the Association that will list the Board of Directors and should also give you the registered agent.

If your Association is managed by a Management Company then all communication for the Board should flow through them. However, you as an owner should always have access to do that. Meaning contact numbers, email address, and a physical address in order to communicate.

shahla Babri

Subject: How much HOA can raise home associasion fee?

Our HOA constantly increase home association due for every joke you can name it.
We are paying highest home association fee in our area (some people forced to sell their property with lower price due to high HOA))
Our building lawyer is favor of HOA and still has not response us that without his permission how HOA canceled the contract and why 4 years later we were informed for the law sue? !( Because time past we can do anything) when I have asked HOA!!!!
They have raised home association due to use of water price, in the past
Once again they increases surcharge that neither I or my children at home to use the water????
All home owners are angry. Is there any solution???

Tammy Ryan

Subject: HOA/DRC approves modification of fence then wants it down

The HOA/DRC approved a modification for me to raise a yard wall up 2 bricks with full knowledge I did not have the neighbor's approval. Now they are wanting to have me remove the bricks. The HOA CCR;s does state I must have the neighbors approval. I was aware of this, therefore notified the HOA/DRC in writing to advise I was unable to get his approval prior to the request being submitted. They then emailed me and advised me to send in the request without his signature. So this is exactly what I did. I assumed that they would have followed their proper procedures with notifying the neighbor etc. They did not do this. The next thing I know I am getting bullied by them via an attorney. I have followed their procedures, received a city permit and complied with all design requirements, the yard wall is under 6 feet. Now they want the wall down. Can they do this?


Subject: My Rights

Hi, I live in a community with an HOA. I truly love it here, but just the other day, I ran into a bit of a problem with them. The president of the HOA paid me an unexpected visit at 8:30 a.m. on a Friday, just as I was leaving for work. He asked me to unlock my gate so he could replace my meter. He was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and I didn't know him from Adam. I asked him for identification, and since he didn't have any, I sent him away and told him to have his company call me to let me know that he was legitimate and that he was coming over to do a specific job. Shortly thereafter, my neighbor informed me that he was the HOA president. So I flagged him down and explained to him that, as a woman living alone, I get very leery of strangers. He seemed to balk at that. Nevertheless, I unlocked my gate for him and left for work. I then phoned the HOA manager to inform her that I wanted to be contacted prior to anyone from the HOA showing up at my front door so that I would not be suspicious and fearful. She has ignored my phone calls. I do not trust these people and sense trouble brewing. What is my recourse if they begin harrass me? Thank you.


Subject: HOA'S


jimmy jackson

Subject: Hoa increase dues $200.00 for a year

My HOA and management company increases our dues $200 for one year to replace money that they use to sue a homeowner in the community the money that they used should have come out of the treasure of annual dues. They act like they are trying to send a message to the other homeowners They charged $50 late fee every month. A lot of us don't have the money because we are elderly and on fixed income with a lot of medicine expenses. Do they have the right to do this .Is there anything we can do about it they all ready sending out letter threating liens againist our homes an foreclosure if we don't pay the $200 additional dues plus the late fees at $50.a month.This president of the HOA sued the previous board and got punitive damages in his favor and we did not have to pay additional dues. If he want to replenish the association why don't he give back the money he got two years ago, They are ripping us off and we can't do nothing about it. Is there any help


Subject: Mgmt Company Scams

there is a constant nuisance of unnecessary repairs with crews that intrude on the privacy of residents. This appears to be a scam allow mgmt. company to divert funds to their executives. High mgmt. company fees contribute to unaffordable housing costs. This is a daily obnoxious intrusion. I thought homeowners were supposed to have control of HOA after a property is built?


Subject: HOA Members

Do the members of an HOA board have to live in the same community, is there any law requiring that?


Subject: HOA Board members

The answer may depend on what your CC&Rs say. In our age-restricted retirement association which was founded in the late 1970s (in California, governed by the Davis-Stirling Act and other state and federal laws), board members need not be residents of the community. This may seem odd, but there is at least one good reason for that which comes to mind. Most boards have a very difficult time getting residents to volunteer to serve for the one or two year stint. Our CC&Rs call for a five-member Board, yet it has been years since that number of willing volunteers have offered to serve. When our Board hired a property management company to handle the business (dues collections, paperwork for title companies, city permits for the common area, maintenance of common area amenities -- the list goes on), the owner/manager offered to sit on the Board as Secretary -- a position that no one wanted to take. The non-resident board member does not vote on any matters that might be a conflict of interest. Because he has knowledge of the real estate business and laws related to it, he brings his experience and knowledge to the table when the Board needs to consider how best to handle under-age residents (the most frequent issue for our HOA), as well as more mundane matters like lawn/yard violations (we are not very strict here -- after all, it is a community of seniors).


Subject: Patio Cover

I want to install a Patio cover in my Backyard, I submitted to ARC committee. I was denied because it did not have the required Slope and it is Steel and Aluminium construction so it is not designed to have the Cement tiles like my Roof.

But there are other Properties in our development that were built after ours that have the style Patio cover I want to have Installed that have the same type of roof, cement tiles as I.

How would recommend moving forward against the HOA on this issue ??


Subject: I would recommend taking

I would recommend taking photos in your neighborhood of those houses you say have this type of construction and present them at a board meeting. The HOA is not allowed to apply the covenants and restrictions unequally and will either force those residents into compliance or allow you to proceed with your project.

Nelson Mickle

Subject: Pool rules

no glass on the pool area , but I had I guess who I neglected to explain the rules, now the HOA is charging me 500 and ban me an my family out of the pool for 30 days , my problem ls that I use the pool for my own physical therapy since in a desabilitaded vet and my 80 year old father. Is there anything I can do?.


Subject: Easements

Legally my HOA owners large easements behind everyone's house in our Florida neighborhood in St Augustine. The homeowners are wanting to purchase these easements behind thier homes to make there property larger. The HOA is saying it can't be done unless every homeowner purxhases the easement lot. Is this true or recommendations

Michael Trotta

Subject: Florida HOA's required to register

Its great HOA's are required to register with the State of Florida, however, the State of Florida refuses to regulate HOA's so there are no penalties for non compliance and homeowners are forced to hire attorneys to resolve issues.

Whats the point of having the laws on the books if the State is unwilling to enforce them? Seems like a waste of taxpayers time and money if the State takes the time to write all these statutes but does nothing to enforce them.


Subject: fk hoa

fl condo and hoa laws are numerous and change with every legislative session, so often you need a specialized lawyer.
the whole thing is a mess. and expensive but the local gov as well as the FHA and VA who pushed them originally. but too often condo and hoa get mixed together and they should be handled separately by law.
my first requirement when i looked for a home here was no mandatory or cc&r. much better and more economically way to live. and to make thing worst the big developments often have several you have to live under and pay fees to.

dianna jankowski

Subject: deck fence

I received approval from the previous board to erect a fence by following the guidelines it presented,the present board is telling me it was unauthorized,I have sent them the letter showing authorization,they say I must change it ?????

Steve Harris

Subject: HOA - Changes to by-laws

I live in an HOA in Pennsylvania. Before buying I searched the by-laws for my HOA and it did not say anything about riding dirt bikes or four wheelers. After living there a year and letting my sons ride the four wheelers in the yard for one hour each sunday the HOA board members had a vote and changed the by-laws to include no riding of atvs or dirt bikes. I don't see how 5 people get to make or change the rules for all. It should not be legal.


Subject: Fines and banning from pool

Recently the pool company the HOA contracts with was rude to an elderly tenant and refused to wait for a homeowner to get a key to let them in so they hopped the fence damaging property. This company does a poor job with the chemicals and their employees have no customer service skills. I left a bad review online in their review section. Now I am being fined 100.00 for offending the pool company and I have been banned from pool use. The HOA rules do state that I can be fined for offensive behavior but I thought that meant outside in the commons area, not in the privacy of my own home or in an online company review ??? The rules also state that I have to misuse the pool 3 times to be banned from the pool, which I assumed meant break the pool rules 3 times. Leaving a bad review for the pool company is not in the pool rules, so I am not understanding any of this. I had no idea that the HOA, property management and pool company now controls my freedom of speech because I live here. I have been told I have to post a public apology to the pool company to receive my key back, is that even legal? Feel like I am being bullied for stating my own personal opinion on an online company review section.

Sadaf Bazargan

Subject: Freedom of speech

You had every right to express your opinion. It seems like your HOA is in bed with your pool company and there definitely is a conflict of interest and hancky panky going on. I will forward this case to an attorney friend of mine that takes care of cases like this. She will contact you directly. Good luck . They are bullying you. Don't give up. SB


Subject: Discrimination against renters

Our POA charges renters about twice the rate that property owners have to pay for passes to use the common properties which include the parks, clubhouse and swimming pool. We are located in North Carolina and our Restrictive Covenants do not mention renters at all. Is this legal? Isn't this a form of discrimination?


Subject: HOA and dogs

I currently live in condo that states in declarations 2 animals per unit are allowed but the board can pass rules to regulate the keeping of animals in unit and species. In bylaws states to modify or change declaration need 67 %. Rules have restriction on weight and where to walk... Now they have proposed new rule of pet free association and only board votes. From what I read inconsistencies between rule and declaration, declaration wins. So I would take it that they have to change declaration to say pet free no add a rule inconsistent with declaration. Help?


Subject: Dog no longer allowed by HOA

In Arizona the same thing happened. The owner sued the association successfully and all present owners were grandfathered. There were two no pet buildings and one pet building. Those who bought in the pet building which was not as nicely landscaped and furthest from useable common areas (like the two pools, a nice grass putting green and lush landscaping) did so they could have a pet.
Scottsdale Condominiums were the defendants in the case. Would be in Scottsdale or Phoenix AZ courts and at least five years ago. Good luck.

kim c

Subject: visitor in a commercial vehicle

I received a letter/complaint that I cannot have a visitor in a van after 6pm. Can they restrict who comes to visit me if they are parked in my driveway and not blocking any roadway. They are not overnight guests and only here for dinner and visiting.


Subject: Association Attorney - can he order an owner?

I filed a complaint against the Association's Board of Directors for not following or enforcing the Declaration - Rules & Regulations. I was told by the Association's attorney, "NOT TO CONTACT THE BOARD MEMBERS OR MY MANAGEMENT COMPANY". NO reason or reasons were offered. Can this be allowed? I pay a monthly fee towards the management company & for the attorney's salary.

Thank you for the response.

Shelly Davis

Subject: Aggressive dogs

Recently my neighbor's three animals got out of their yard and viciously attacked our chihuahua on our front lawn. He would have died had I not fought off the dogs. Our HOA is dragging its feet on dealing with this issue. It is a clear violation of our CCR's. They sent her a certified letter telling her to get rid of the dogs, but worded it in a somewhat vague fashion. They did not give her a time limit to remove the dogs. They have continued to get out, and have tried to go after other dogs - namely our other dog who WE were walking at the time. They are aggressive, show a pack mentality, have killed chickens nearby, and seem out of hand. Our county Sheriff Department cannot do anything because of budget issues and juristrictions( we live outside a city area). We know that the CCR's are clear on this subject, and the dogs pose a safety issue to the whole neighborhood. Our HOA should take legal action, but are very slow in acting. Any comments?



This takes me back to when we moved into our most recent home. We currently live in a gated community with a HOA, which my wife or I had never experienced with before. I agree with the principle, and it helps keep the neighborhood's home prices up, but it did take some getting used to especially since we had a custom home built.

Justin P

Subject: You left out a key piece of information

"Most of the 63 million residents who live in community associations say they’re happy with the organizations, according to a 2012 survey by the Community Associations Institute."

CAI is an industry group for management companies: in other words, the study mentioned was paid for by companies that make money off HOAs so citing this as evidence that most people are happy with them is ridiculous.

There's a reason that states keep passing laws to LIMIT the power of HOAs and rarely, if ever, pass laws to EXPAND those powers: because HOAs have repeatedly and consistently been guilty of abuses of various kinds. You didn't mention, for example, the veteran stationed in Iraq whose wife failed to pay the dues on their house and wound up having that (fully paid-for) house sold by the HOA for a fraction of its value. Google "Michael Clauer" to read about this for yourself.

For that matter, search on "HOA abuse" (or something similar) and see how many hits you get (spoiiler: lots of them) and then try to find testimonials from people talking about how they're GLAD they have an HOA (another spoiler: much harder to find).

Alan Spann

Subject: parking enforcement

Up until two years ago, parking was enforced strickly by the board. Then without changing our community rules on parking or towing, they hired a security company to enforce the security companies new rules and towing policy. A new security company took over less than a year ago with new parking and towing rules without the HOA changing any of our parking and towing policies that the new rules conflicted with. In addition, in order to be elibible for a hang tag for a third vehicle, a condo owner must agree to waive many rights and afforded under our rules and state law. What can I do?

Serge Duval


It's definitely important to learn as much as you can about an association before joining. If you do, you'll ensure that you're getting the most possible benefit. As mentioned, you can save money by sharing costs such as snow removal and other things. Thanks for the tips!

Donna Schmidt

Subject: U.S.P.S. home delivery

Does an HOA have the authority to not allow U.S.P.S delivery to community - forcing the members to purchase a box at the local post office? They are talking about possibly getting CBU mailboxes at the entrance to our community but want to charge a HUGE fee for the box.


Subject: HOA covenants

We are in TN and are interested in purchasing an improved lot in a subdivision. Builder already sold some lots with houses and now selling lots without houses. Everything looks good except the section: covenant to build. It forces you to build within 2 years of transfer of deed. That is restrictive. Anything can be done? Can we add a new owner ( trust , business, etc. )to keep extending the building of a property?

Penelope Masulis

Subject: what about the interior of one's home?

I just found out that I am required to have wall to wall carpeting in my condo. I prefer flooring... due to providing a more healthy atmosphere. I am on the second floor and so they require me to have what I wish not to have in my own condo. Is this really fair?


Subject: Carpeting in Condo

Sorry to hear that, that sounds really limiting as carpeting is well known to be a cesspool of germs and other pollutants over time. But as an architect, it seems to me that the reason they do this is due to noise issues between units. Have you considered asking them if they would accept a flooring underlayment to mitigate the sounds issues? The Sound Isolation Company is one such vendor, but I'm sure there are many. Their products are pretty inexpensive and can be installed under laminate flooring, tile - just about anything and it doubles your STC/IIC rating (the rating that determines sound transmission). You might be able to change the rules for everyone in your condo complex. Good luck!

lars grauberger

Subject: renting my condo

does the HOA have the power to tell me I cant rent my condo. they only let 9 units to be rented at a time. you have to go on a waiting list and you have to pay them a 1000.00 when and if your time is and it only good for the time of the renter contract so if its a year thats it and then you go to the back of the line


Subject: Can HOAs charge onetime rental fees to homeowners?

Greetings, I recently joined my HOA board and have come across several complaints. Thinking of some ways to eliminate stresses and inconveniences of owners living in my neighborhood, I thought we could charge owner’s a onetime rental fee to recoup destructive tenant’s behaviors (i.e. trash, etc). Can HOAs charge a “rental fee” (Whether onetime, or annually) to owners?

Tyler C.

Subject: HOA and dogs.

So 2 questions. I own a property with an HOA and is on a tourist beach. We are allowed to have dogs and our renters and vacationers have always been able to have dogs. Can the HOA up and make up a new rule saying that renters cannot have dogs even though it will affect the owner(s) whom rents their property? I personally thought that it is the owners responsibility to say yay or nay on dogs in their property. And there is a fine schedule. 2nd can a board be voted out by the community?

Staci Giordullo
Staci Giordullo

Subject: Reply to HOA and dogs

Hi Tyler- My name is Staci and I'm a writer for Angie's LIst. As the owner of the property, you should have in your possesion a copy of the community bylaws and or rules/regulations that will detail what's permitted and what's not. It should also detail the process of voting on new rules/regulations and the process of becoming a board member. Typically, members of the community vote on who they want on their HOA board - sometimes it's annually or biannual. Then, depending on how your HOA is set up, the rules are determined and voted on either by the elected board members or the entire community. Any homeowner who's current on their HOA fees should be eligible to run for a seat on the board. For the specifics in your community, I'd recommend contacting the current HOA president and request the information that will help answer your questions more accurately.

Syndi Matthews

Subject: Parking/tagged car

My son lives in a townhouse development. The HOA has been hasseling him about a historic tagged and titled car he owns parked in the parking lot. The car is not a rust bucket. It is quite beautiful actually. A few months ago the carburetor died. He hasn't had time to fix it with work and the MD weather interfering.
The HOA gave him until 2/13 to move it out of the lot. It's in his assigned space.
Do they have the right? Could it be moved to the public spaces and be good.
Sad is that he is moving out on 2/20-21 and the HOA won't wait one more week.

Staci Giordullo
Staci Giordullo

Subject: Reply to Parking/Tagged Car

Hi Syndi - My name is Staci and I'm a writer for Angie's List. It's not uncommon for Condo/Townhouse Associations to have a stipulation in their bylaws regarding automobiles. In most cases, the rules will state that the resident's car must be in working condition (i.e. able to drive). They also sometimes forbid maintenace (such as repairs and oil changes) to be performed on the property as some residents won't dispose of used materials properly. If your son is permitted to work on his car while it's parked in his assigned space, that's a good thing. Unfortunately, when he became a resident of that community, he agreed to the bylaws. And if the rules and regulations state he's not permitted to keep a non-working car (no matter how beautiful it is), those are the rules he agreed to. Has he reached out to the HOA to inform them of his impending move? If he has, and they won't grant him an extension, that's unfortuante, but rules are rules.


Subject: basketball hoops FLORIDA

Hi I rent a townhouse ,this its my third year,for about a year I have a basketball hoop for my my boys, about two months ago I received a letter from homeowner associations where they where requesting that I need to remove the basketball hoop because i m violating the rules- basketball hoops not allowed,
I did answer with email requesting the rules and regulations,
since then i have not recieved any email
today i recieved again a letter from the association again they accusing me of violating the rules and tretening me that i m going to be fined,what should i do?

Staci Giordullo
Staci Giordullo

Subject: Obtain a copy of rules and regulations

Hi Max - My name is Staci, and I'm a writer for Angie's List. You say you rent - have you contacted the owner of your townhouse and involved him/her? As a tenant, you should have a copy of the association rules and regulations or bylaws. If you don't have one in your possession, the owner of your townhouse certainaly should. In regards to contacting the Assocition directly, instead of emailing, have you tried calling and requesting a copy of the bylaws? Specifically ask them to point out where it says a basketball hoop is not allowed. Keep a record of every time you call and/or email (but try calling often). Hopefully they respond, as I'm sure they want their tenants to be well-informed of the neighborhood rules. I found this link on the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation that speaks a bit to your issue:

Cathy Seal

Subject: Mailboxes

I live in NC and have a magnetized cover on my mailbox. Do homeowner associations control mailboxes. Thought mail and mailboxes were federally regulated.

Cathy Seal

Paul Pogue
Paul F. P. Pogue

Subject: HOAs do have some power

Mail boxes are indeed regulated by the US Postal Standards (, but our understanding of HOA law is that they can regulate mailboxes so long as they don't contradict USPS standards. For instance, the code allows decorative art and devices so long as they don't interfere with mail delivery. However, it would be within an HOA's power to disallow decorations on mailboxes. On the other hand, they would not be able to issues rules that, for example, required minimum or maximum heights that caused mailboxes to violate USPS standards. 

Thanks for your comment! -- Paul F. P. Pogue, senior staff writer


Jason Michlowitz

Subject: Wrong Content

I began reading this article while searching for something, and in the first half found wrong information.

Satellite dishes

A Home Owners' Association DOES NOT have control over this under the FCC act of 1996. Please do your reserach.

Katie Jacewicz
Katie Jacewicz

Subject: Thanks for your comment!

Hi Jason, Katie from Angie's List here. You are correct that the FCC Act of 1996 does not give HOAs the right to tell a homeowner that he or she cannot use a satellite dish. But as Frank Rathbun, spokesman for the Community Associations Institute, points out in the article, a condo or homeowners association has the right to make its own rules based on reasonable standards. These rules may restrict how large a satellite dish might be, and how and where it's mounted on your home. Thank you for your comment!

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Most states require a seller or landlord to disclose a death in the home. Absent of there being an undisclosed death, the tenant doesn't have a leg to stand on. Usually, small claims court will order the tenant to forfeit the deposit and pay for any unrented time in the home. However, if the tenant can prove that there was an undisclosed death in the home prior to their renting it, you may be liable for a full refund of all rents, deposits and moving expenses.
Are the heat pumps commercial or residential units?
Are the heat pumps Package or Split System?
Are there actually 33 PTAC units?
Are you an EPA certified person( refrigerant )?

Here is my suggestion, break it down into manageable portions(ie one heat pump and a few PTAC units every other month) to keep from being overloaded.  
Clean/Replace filters
Check/inspect electrical wiring and connections
Check amperage draw of compressors/motors 
Check capacitance of start and run capacitors
Check contractors/relays for wear/pitting
Check refrigerant levels and record superheated/subcooling
Check external static pressures across air handler(s)
Check deltaT (return and supply air temps) 
Lubricate motors( if applicable)
Inspect Belts/Pulleys( if applicable)
Clean outdoor coils
Clean indoor coils

Start there and HAVE FUN!!!