HOA rules can be a bit over the top at times. For example, one association requires that owners enclose their propane tanks and have structures built around them.
Before you buy a home in an HOA community, request copies of the governing documents and review them carefully. Also, consider speaking with a current member to gain an understanding of the community’s expectations and conditions.
HOAs are often sticklers for the overall appearance of a community. They will often limit clutter and have strict rules for where you can store things like garbage cans, patio furniture and barbecues. Many also have strict pet regulations, including number of pets allowed, type of dogs and cats and leash laws.
HOAs also have safety rules that they can enforce. For example, one association required spring covers on trampolines to match the color of the house or face a fine. This is to ensure that the springs don’t catch on any debris and injure kids who jump on them.
In October, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to make new mandatory safety standards for free-standing chests, dressers and armoires. This rule is a response to several dangerous tip-over incidents that injured children. The new rule would require these pieces to be tested for stability and to receive a safety rating, similar to how medicines are approved by the FDA. However, the furniture industry is fighting back and has filed a motion to delay or vacate the rule.