If you own a home that is governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA), you know that they take their rules seriously. HOA’s are very strict about specific requirements they set for their community. By enforcing these rules, HOA’s are able to maintain a certain level of aesthetic for their communities.
An HOA is the governing body that handles the management of a condominium, planned community, or gated community. Not all communities and condominiums have a homeowners’ association, but many of them do. Living in a community governed by an HOA means that residents pay monthly or quarterly fees. These fees are typically proportionate to services provided within the community. Fees will likely be higher if your complex offers high-quality amenities, large common areas, and lush grounds.
Homeowners’ associations also set rules called covenants, conditions, and/or restrictions that residents must follow. These rules often include the color a resident may paint their house, the type of mailbox used, whether you can have a satellite dish, and even how often the resident maintains their house and yard.
Living in a community governed by an HOA comes with many benefits. In addition to amenities such as pools, parks, and playing fields, HOAs also make sure that grounds and buildings in the community look nice and are kept up. Residents don’t have to worry that a neighbor’s house looks run down, is painted in a tacky color scheme, or has landscaping that has grown out of control.
Not everyone is a fan of HOAs. Some people don’t like to live under the strict guidelines set by HOAs. What is pleasing to one eye may be unsightly to another.
For example, if a resident owns a truck or a boat, the rules of a particular HOA may dictate that the resident cannot keep either outside of their garage or a resident may wish to paint their house a certain color only to find that the HOA does not approve. The resident is thereby restricted to the colors the association allows.
Finally, there is the cost factor. Not everyone wants to pay a monthly fee on top of all the other expenses that go with owning a home.
Meeting the Landscaping Restrictions for Your HOA
Some HOAs provide landscaping services for their residents to ensure yards, trees, and bushes do not grow out of control. Others simply require homeowners to keep their yards to standards set by the HOA.
If you live in an HOA community that does not provide landscaping, that HOA will have strict rules in place for residents to maintain their yards. Some of these rules may include:
- How often you cut the grass
- How high bushes and shrubs may be
- How low the lowest limbs on a tree may extend
- How often beds are mulched
- How often you water your lawn
- How often you spray for pests
- What types of bushes and trees you may plant
- What color of mulch you are permitted to use
If you fail to abide by these landscaping rules, your HOA will generally send you a written warning that outlines the HOA violations, and provides deadlines for correcting those problems. If you comply, the matter will end.
However, if you do not fix the problems in a timely manner, the HOA can start to levy fines against you for each day you are out of compliance. Should these fines amass to a certain point, the homeowners’ association has the right to put a lien on your home until you pay the total of the fines along with any legal costs they incur.
If you find your home out of compliance with HOA rules, or you want to make sure you always stay within landscaping requirements, you have two choices. The first is to take care of the problem areas on your own. This is fine if you have the equipment, the time, and know what you are doing. The second option is to hire someone to take care of your landscaping needs.
Epling Landscape and Lawn Service has years of experience helping residents care for their homes to ensure landscaping remains in compliance with their HOA requirements. Epling’s services include:
- Lawn maintenance programs
- Lawn care programs to keep lawns healthy and lush
- Lawn installation for new lawns or to replace dead areas
- Landscape design that conforms with HOA requirements
- Outdoor lighting that helps create the environment you want, and one that abides by any HOA regulations
- Total landscape care program to ensure that your landscape continually looks great
Don’t find yourself in violation of your HOA when it comes to your landscaping.
Fines and legal issues incurred by not complying with the guidelines can often surpass what it would cost you to hire a professional landscaping company. Not only will Epling keep your HOA and neighbors happy, but you, too, will see the benefits of having a great looking lawn and landscape.