HOA Common violations stem from an article on the Realtor.com website about the topic.

There are many HOA communities in the Baltimore real estate community, so I thought this would be a good subject to address.

If you live in an HOA community, there are certain rules and regulations to which you must abide.

What is an HOA?

HOA stands for Home Owners Association. The above link is a post detailing a lot about HOAs.

Some HOAs have more rules than others, and it is important to understand what the rules are. You should have received documentation about the HOA – fees, reserves, rules, regulations, and more when you purchased a house in an HOA. If you are renting a house in an HOA, you should ask the landlord for at least the rules and regulations so you can be sure you are following them.

Here are some common things homeowners may do that could violate HOA rules, thanks to the Realtor.com article:

  1. Home Exterior Changes. Some communities require certain paint colors on doors, shutters, etc. Any exterior changes, including architectural changes, may need to be approved by the HOA prior to any work being done.
  2. Smoking near neighbors. This is one that surprised me, as I had not heard this being an issue. Apparently, it could fall under the category of “inconveniencing other residents in the association.”
  3. Pets. There could be limitations on what kind of pets, size of pets, how many pets. Make sure you know your community’s rules before welcoming a new pet into your family!
  4. Non-compliant Rentals. There are a number of HOAs that may require written permission to allow rental of your home. This could include both long-term and short term rentals like Airbnbs.
  5. Exterior Maintenance. Lawn upkeep, outside clutter, trash can location, fascia, paint colors, door colors…all of those could potentially be within the realm of HOA regulations depending on your HOA.
  6. Vehicles. Some HOAs have rules on how many cars you can have, and sometimes, what kinds. There are some houses I have sold in HOA neighborhoods where no commercial vehicles may be parked overnight. For example, if someone worked for a utility company where they drove a company truck with signage on it, that owner would not be allowed to park that vehicle in the neighborhood. They can also restrict boats, trucks, RVs, etc. Not all HOAs have strict vehicle regulations, but be sure you know what the rules are for your community!
  7. Trash Cans. I mentioned this in exterior maintenance #5,) but again, some HOAs have restrictions about when your trash can be put out – some won’t allow for the night before, and expect them to be put away the same day. Also, some of them may have requirements as to where they are stored on your property!


Please note that I am not an attorney.

Any legal questions about an HOA should be asked to an attorney.

This post is intended as a general overview as to potential HOA violations.