HOA Furniture Restrictions

HOA Furniture

Homeowners associations are known for enforcing architectural standards that keep the community looking pristine. This often includes putting restrictions on the kinds of outdoor furniture that residents can have.

Many HOA fees go towards things like landscaping and lawn care, freeing up cash for homeowners to spend on their own homes. Instead of simply writing a check, homeowners can humanize the donation by partnering with local nonprofits for shopping campaigns.

Rules About Subletting

With options like Airbnb, people are becoming more willing to rent out their homes, including those located in HOA-regulated communities. Because of this, some homeowners associations impose restrictions that prevent owners from renting out their properties. Those restrictions may include a ban on certain pets, or whether or not a home can be sublet.

Some HOAs also restrict where items can be stored, such as a prohibition on storing outdoor chairs and other furniture in the community pool area. These rules are often based on architectural standards that the association seeks to maintain, and are generally found in the community’s bylaws or CC&Rs.

For many associations, these rules are meant to keep a community looking neat and tidy. For example, if someone leaves outdoor tables or chairs outside the community pool, those furnishings will become targets for vandalism and theft. In these cases, the association may need to bolt down outdoor furniture to make it less attractive to criminals.

Another common restriction is on the amount of trash that can be left out. Putting out too much trash can be a nuisance and attract pests, and can also detract from the overall appearance of the community. For these reasons, some HOAs require residents to put their trash cans out at specific times and only use certain types of trash bags.

In co-op and condo buildings, where homeowners own shares of the corporation that operates the property, a shareholder who wants to sublet their unit must get permission from the board. The board may impose restrictions, but those must fall within certain guidelines to avoid being considered discriminatory.

Some homeowners may feel that these rules are not clear enough and may try to take legal action against their HOA. In order to minimize this risk, it’s a good idea for any homeowner association to have directors and officers insurance coverage in place.

When choosing members to serve on committees, it is important to consider both their skills and personality. In general, it is best to choose people who are able to work well with others. This is especially true when it comes to a welcoming committee, where people with friendly and hospitable personalities will help new homeowners feel more at ease.

Rules About Trash

Some HOAs have rules about the types of trash that can be tossed in community dumpsters. They may also have regulations on how to dispose of large items, like broken furniture and appliances, that can’t fit in residential garbage bins. These rules can help keep the community clean and free of debris that could hurt property values.

Homeowners in HOA communities can get into trouble for violating these types of rules if they throw certain items, such as boxes that haven’t been broken down or old furniture, into the dumpster. It’s also against the rules to put out trash cans too early or not bring them back in by a certain time, since that can attract pests and detract from the community’s appearance.

It’s important for an HOA to enforce its rules consistently. If some owners are breaking a rule and getting fined while others are not, that could be considered selective enforcement and illegal. An HOA also cannot make up rules on the fly, or even fine people for things that aren’t actually violations of the governing documents.

While it’s easy to see why some homeowners object to invasive, silly, or elitist HOA rules, these boards have the legal right to impose them. If you pay your fees, you’re legally required to follow the rules. If you don’t, the board can turn you over to a collection agency or small claims court.

The truth is, HOA rules are designed to protect the property value and quality of life in a community. While they might not be popular with every homeowner, they’re there to keep the community safe and attractive and uphold high standards of living for everyone in it. If you have questions about a specific HOA rule or concern, it’s often a good idea to reach out to a professional who can review your situation and determine whether it really is enforceable. This can help prevent an escalation of the problem that could lead to a long, drawn-out legal battle. Bryan Kuester, CEO of Kuester Management Group, has more than 15 years of experience managing community associations in North and South Carolina. He specializes in covenant enforcement, budgeting for operational and reserve funding, onsite management, long-range planning and association governance.

Rules About Outdoor Furniture

HOAs often have rules about how homeowners should care for their property. These can include rules about landscaping, noise, or even whether you can have a clothesline. Some of these rules are meant to help protect the property values in a community, but others might seem arbitrary or unfounded. It’s important that the management company who handles your community looks over its governing documents to make sure there are no rules that violate the law or aren’t necessary.

While you might not want to leave your outdoor furniture out all the time, there are reasons why you should be allowed to do so. For example, if your patio has a covered roof you might need a way to cool it in the summer. Similarly, you may have items in the yard that you can’t store indoors such as bicycles or kayaks. HOAs might require that you keep these items in a storage shed, or they may ban you from keeping them out for safety reasons or to avoid a nuisance to other residents.

One of the rules that experts recommend you break is the rule about matching furniture sets. ‘Matching outdoor furniture sets aren’t a must,’ says Homes & Gardens. ‘There isn’t a right or wrong way to design your outdoor spaces, so you can choose coordinating pieces or mix-and-match for a more eclectic look.’ It’s also not a requirement that your furniture matches the color of your home.

You can also choose to use a shade that repeats the color of a garden planting. This can create a cohesive look, or you can choose to contrast the yard style with your furnishings by choosing pieces with clean lines against a more traditional house design.

You can also find ways to save money on your outdoor furniture by purchasing used items, or by buying items from a local thrift shop. You might be able to find some great deals on a sectional or sofa that is just what you need for your porch, patio or deck.

Rules About Pool Furniture

If your HOA has a pool, it is important to set rules and restrictions on the use of its furniture. This is to ensure that all residents are using the common element safely and for its intended purpose, rather than having the furniture stolen or damaged by vandals.

Some of these rules may include:

Guests must be accompanied by the homeowner while in the pool area. Children younger than 4 must be supervised at all times. Guests must wear appropriate swimwear at all times and not use the pool as a tanning deck. Trash, towels and food are to be placed in proper receptacles in the pool area. Umbrellas must be lowered when not in use to avoid damage. The pool gate must be closed at all times – do NOT prop open for guests to enter or leave the property.

Rules and restrictions can also include:

Homeowners are encouraged to review the rules, restrictions and covenants with their attorney to see if they are valid and enforceable. If not, your attorney can help you draft a letter to the board explaining why they are unenforceable and/or what legal action you will be taking, if necessary.