Almost every planned development has a number of rules and regulations in its CC&Rs. Many have adopted additional rules and regulations, found in a separate document. It’s important that if you do purchase a property, that you look into whether it’s under HOA’s jurisdiction, and read into what these restrictions involve to create a better community. To further understand HOA and whether it will impact any properties you’re looking into, check out

When someone breaks any of these rules, it’s usually the HOA that’s responsible to enforce them. Just who will take on an enforcement role and how far the HOA can go to make you comply depends also on the specific language in the development’s bylaws and CC&Rs.

Some developments give the HOA more enforcement rights than others. Among these might be the right to:

  • fine any owner violating a covenant, rule, or regulation (for example, you may be assessed a fine each day you keep the metal fence up)
  • enter upon an owner’s property to determine whether the owner is breaking any rules (the HOA could come onto your land to check out what your fence is made of)
  • enter upon an owner’s property to remedy a rule violation (for instance, the HOA could remove your metal fence)
  • suspend the rule-breaking owner’s right to use the common facilities (you may not be allowed to use the fitness room, for example, until you pay any fines and take the fence down)
  • sue an owner who violates any restriction, covenant, or rule, (watch out; you could end up in a lawsuit and ultimately with a court order requiring you to take down the fence),
  • hold the owner responsible for any attorneys fees or costs incurred by the HOA in enforcing a rule, (if the HOA is successful, you may be in for more than just the cost of removing the fence), and/or
  • place a lien on an owner’s property (if you owe enough in fines, the HOA might be able to put a lien on your home, meaning that your title to the property won’t be clear until the debt is paid).

If you feel that the HOA is singling you out, because many of your neighbors have violated a particular rule and it hasn’t been enforced in years, you should bring this up in discussions with the HOA. If you believe the HOA has not followed the required procedures, or are unsure what your rights are under your state’s laws, you may wish to contact an attorney in your area experienced in HOA matters to assist you.