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What rules can HOAs not enforce?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2022 | HOA Law |

Homeowners associations (HOAs) develop rules and guidelines to keep a neighborhood safe, secure, and enjoyable for residents. As a result, many HOA rules center around things like home upkeep and noise levels.

While these associations offer many benefits to homeowners, they must exercise caution when it comes to unenforceable HOA rules. Here are a few points to keep in mind when developing guidelines.

The HOA handbook must include fines

HOAs can fine homeowners when violations occur. However, the basis for these fines must appear in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, which cover the rules of the neighborhood. If a homeowner receives a fine, but the violation is not listed within the handbook, they can successfully dispute it.

Native plants can appear on a homeowner’s property

Texas protects the growing of native plants on one’s property. As a result, HOAs cannot tell property owners that they cannot grow a plant that is native to the state. Native plants offer environmental benefits, such as supporting local wildlife. Accordingly, associations must permit these plants on properties, regardless of any rules about landscaping.

Homeowners can install satellite TV

Many associations find fault with satellite dishes due to their effect on curb appeal. However, federal law dictates that all people can use these devices to access programming signals. This law supersedes HOA directives, even when they appear in the official handbook. If the association attempts to fine a homeowner for installing such a device, chances are good that the homeowner will be successful in court.

Avoiding violations ensures your HOA remains compliant with relevant laws and statutes. It can also make for a better neighborhood environment, as homeowners will know that you have their best interests in mind.