An HOA board has a lot of important decisions to make as it attempts to enrich the experience of the residents that fall under its umbrella in areas such as amenities, safety, etc. To this end, those living in an HOA will find that there are covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) implemented to achieve the desired standards.

Unfortunately, whether intentionally or otherwise, these rules are not always followed. In these scenarios, you may have an HOA violation at play. An HOA may impose penalties in short order or it may allow time for compliance with the HOA rule at play to occur.

Let's take a look at the idea of these violations and the common ones that you will likely have to deal with.

Download Your Free HOA Violation Notice Template

Did a resident violate one of your HOA rules? If so, download this free template to serve your violation notices.

Understanding What an HOA Violation Is

A good way to understand this is to think about what the purpose of an HOA is. What is it that HOA board members try to achieve consistently by carrying out their respective functions?

Put simply, HOAs exist to ensure that rules are set, monitored, and enforced in a condominium or a planned community. A brief mention was made of CC&Rs above. This is actually the official name given to the set of HOA guidelines that are set. Effectively, they outline what residents are allowed to do with their properties and what they cannot.

The mere purchase of a home within an HOA is a commitment to honor whatever governing documents there are and to follow the rules that are in place. If a homeowner fails to do so, then they will be subject to the appropriate action.

While they are expected to avoid HOA violations, this does not always go smoothly. While you may not necessarily deal with blatant violations too much, you may find that residents simply didn't know that a certain action was prohibited or an accident occurred.

Remember to do your part to ensure that the regulations set are clear and communicated. Since the body exists to enforce HOA rules, a violation notice will usually be issued to the resident in question, which will speak to the violation, photographic evidence, and a request to take the appropriate course of action to rectify the issue.

You can download our template above, which will cover all the required bases.

A Look at the Most Likely Violations of HOA Rules and Regulations

Now that you know more about how violations may occur and how they're handled, let's turn our attention to the common HOA violations that may come up by accident, through ignorance, or otherwise.


HOA communities may have restrictions imposed on their fencing choices. This may speak to the color or types of fences that residents are allowed to put around their properties. While there may be a security element to such restrictions, in some cases, the real concern is maintaining the aesthetic of the community.

On the protection side of things, remember that some places are more susceptible to stormy conditions than others. Depending on what fences are made of, there could be a huge danger when strong winds start to do away with them and they become nothing more than dangerous projectiles.


It doesn't take an HOA board member to know that there is a laundry list of different sounds that may be flowing through a community at any point in time. Therefore, the idea of restricting the kinds of sounds that are allowed would be a fool's errand.

However, noise levels are something to manage considering that there shouldn't be a disruptive experience to any of the residents living in an HOA. In many cases, noise level regulations will have different thresholds of what is acceptable based on the time of day or night.

Commonly, there will be a requirement to keep noise levels at a minimum during the night.


If garbage isn't managed effectively, it can create a host of aesthetic and health concerns for the homeowner's association. Therefore, many HOA communities will have rules imposed to cover where garbage bins can be kept. In most cases, the requirement is to keep them somewhere they cannot be easily seen instead of in a place where they are in plain view.

Depending on what the HOA's governing documents dictate, there may also be rules that speak to what kinds of items may not be disposed of using the bins.

Exterior Decor

One of the most recognizable things about HOA communities is the visual element of things. The homes will often have a uniform look and even similar property values because of this. A community can be designed to look this way and over time the look is lost because of different changes that the homeowners may choose to make to their units.

This is why HOA boards may have rules put in place specifically to protect the aesthetic side of things. These rules can get pretty granular, even speaking to the paint colors and external decor elements that are allowed.

In such communities, residents will often find that they need to seek written approval to make certain kinds of changes to their homes.

Exterior Storage

Storage can be another point of HOA community violations, and this can mean two things. First, there's the matter of items that are kept outside. Examples include gardening equipment, mechanical appliances, and bicycles. There may be a requirement imposed to keep these in an area where they cannot easily be seen.

The second meaning is storage facilities that residents may want to erect such as sheds. There may be regulations in place to prevent them from doing this at the front of their properties.


One of the pain points that you may face with your implementation of these strict guidelines is with pets. Realistically, many people absolutely adore their pets, so much so that they will allow the animals to do anything.

On the flip side, some people are not so fond of animals. Guess what? Both sets of persons need to coexist peacefully in the community.

Being an HOA board member means that you have the responsibility of ensuring that there is comfort on both ends of the spectrum. This means you may have to establish areas where pets can exercise and others where they simply cannot walk.

Additionally, there may need to be a requirement for leashes or even a limit imposed on the breeds or numbers of pets allowed.

Business Dealings

To be clear, most HOAs will not necessarily interfere with business activities because they don't want their residents to be operating out of their homes. People work from home all the time and it's a non-issue. However, when there is a matter of disturbances and quality of life challenges for other HOA members, then it becomes a cause for concern.

For example, some natures of business will require equipment to be stored in places they shouldn't be or they may introduce chemicals into the environment that may be problematic. You may even have a situation where constant deliveries and pickups become disruptive for others.

Therefore, restrictions may be imposed on what business types are allowed.


An HOA will typically consider several things before deciding that residents either can or cannot sublet their properties. Insurance is one such element. These considerations may see the HOA choosing to forbid the practice overall or requiring written permission from those who may wish to do it.

Social Gatherings

Residents will want to have their friends and other loved ones over, and that is completely understandable. However, this still needs to be done in a way that isn't disruptive to other residents.

Therefore, while parties may not be prohibited, when they can happen may be. Additionally, there may be rules for where guests can park.


Each house in the community contributes to its overall look, which is why owners need to do their part to ensure that their properties are not ruining the aesthetic. This may mean that restrictions are imposed on which trees can be planted, grass level maintenance, etc.


Finally, there's parking. There are both appearance and safety concerns for the HOA community here, which is why residents are advised to ensure that they understand what parking regulations look like. While resident parking may not be the biggest concern in the world, guest parking is another story.

Serving HOA Violation Notices

Most common HOA violations will either be observed by board members or they may be reported by other residents. It's important to do a proper investigation to ensure that the violation is a present concern during which a photograph should be captured.

Remember that the intention is simply to achieve compliance and not necessarily to punish residents. With that in mind, use our provided violation letter template to include all the required details. Be specific about the nature of the violation, communicate the request to remedy the situation, and specify a timeframe for this to happen.

Be Ready for Appeals

Residents will not always agree that they are in violation. If so, they may appeal it. Handle appeals fairly and objectively, while being prepared for the introduction of mediation or legal action.

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HOA violations can be enough to keep track of when you need to balance proper communication, maintenance, and more. What if you had a comprehensive application to help you out?

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  • Automated payment processing for dues, fines, amenities, etc.
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  • Streamlined communication by phone, email, text, or portal messages.

The Bottom Line

From noise regulations to aesthetics and beyond, HOA rules exist to maintain a great standard of living for all residents. When they're not adhered to, a violation occurs. Download our violation letter template today to ensure that you're hitting all the bases.

Additionally, schedule a demo today of our comprehensive HOA software solution to make management a breeze!


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Ilia is a Content Creator and Copywriter at DoorLoop with a background in Real Estate and Law. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and International Relations.