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What are common homeowner association regulations?

Living in a community of townhomes or condominiums can have its advantages, but it can also have its disadvantages. Some purposely move to these communities for the homeowner's association. Others move there in spite of the homeowner's association. Each homeowner's association is different in Florida, but there are similarities. What are the common homeowner association regulations?

Your homeowner association might regulate public and private aspects of the neighborhood where you live. Tenants are supposed to follow the rules and procedures set forth by their homeowner association or else risk fines and other penalties.

Most homeowner associations regulate the following:

-- Pets

-- Noise

-- Shrubs, fences and hedges

-- Exterior paint, siding and sheds

-- Mailboxes

-- Landscaping

-- Home-based businesses

-- Basketball hoops

-- Swing sets

Even though many of the items mentioned above might not be allowed in your neighborhood, they might be allowed elsewhere. It all depends on the association and the rules that have been developed.

Not everything listed above will be banned by an association. In fact, some pets might be allowed. You just need to read the rules and understand what is acceptable. This is known as a common interest development (CID).

For example, your association might allow dogs, but only within a certain size. Or, dogs and cats might be allowed under the association's rules, but not pigs, birds, reptiles, hamsters or any other type of animal people might have as a pet.

Another example of a CID is where residents are allowed to install a child's playset or swing set in the backyard of the residence, but not allowed to have a basketball net out front.

Residents who fail to pay HOA fees either due to their choice or because they simply cannot afford them can face foreclosure. It is in your best interest to look into the HOA in the neighborhood where you'd like to live prior to signing a lease or a purchase contract. Some HOAs can be very demanding with their rules.

Source: Law Offices of Frese Hansen, "Melbourne Real Estate Litigation Attorneys," accessed April 14, 2017

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