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Can you contest a HOA fine?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Homeowners' Associations

There are many benefits to living in a community with a homeowners association (HOA). You can access certain amenities like a pool, fitness center or clubhouse. In addition, you have the assurance that homeowners meet a standard of care when it comes to maintaining their house and yard, thus protecting property values.

However, a HOA has some drawbacks, and sometimes a community member feels unfairly fined.

Types of HOA fines

The purpose of having a HOA is to maintain the standard and quality of life within a community. The association enforces the rules homeowners agreed to when buying their property. Sometimes, breaking these rules can result in fines. While every HOA is different, there are some common infractions, including:

  • Landscaping violations, such as failing to mow your lawn or keeping trees and bushes trimmed
  • Making changes to your home’s exterior without HOA approval, including painting it a different color, adding a fence or deck or anything that may change its appearance
  • Excessive noise from loud music or a barking dog
  • Parking violations such as parking in the street instead of your driveway or having an RV or boat in your driveway for an extended period
  • Leaving trash and recycling bins out too long or improper storage

Having these regulations helps to ensure an amicable environment for everyone. Still, it may sometimes feel that you have been fined unjustly, targeted by the HOA or there may be a misunderstanding. In that event, you may be able to contest your fine. Here is what you can do:

  1. Before contesting your fine, ensure you thoroughly understand your HOA’s rules and regulations.
  2. Review the fine and the violation you allegedly violated. Request more details if needed.
  3. Gather evidence, such as photographs and relevant correspondence, to support your claim that the fine isn’t warranted.
  4. Write a formal letter disputing the fine, including the violation description, why you contest the fine and supporting evidence.
  5. Request a hearing to present your case and answer any questions.

If you fail in your initial efforts and face a substantial fine, you should discuss your situation with someone who can help protect your rights.