For better or worse, living in a neighborhood with a Homeowners' Association (“HOA”) is becoming a way of life for many Americans. While there are some perks, there are also drawbacks. When my wife and I moved into our new home, we decided to bring with us our playset from our previous home. I knew in the back of my mind that our new neighborhood had an HOA and that we probably needed approval to have this in our backyard, but we proceeded anyways. The letter from the HOA arrived about two weeks later. Indeed, we needed board approval. Not sure who ratted us out on this one. I submitted the application replete with distances from property lines, photos, and descriptions and eagerly awaited the result. It was approved, but what a pain.
It is not uncommon for an HOA agreement with accompanying declarations, amendments, and exhibits to run over the one-hundred page mark. These documents, chockful of awful legalese, are perfect for lulling you to sleep, but are a contract nonetheless. If you have issue with an HOA, like putting a playset on your property, contacting an attorney to help you analyze the agreement might be your best course of action. It could be the difference between a delightful time or an empty yard with heartbroken children.
Attorney Jesse Bowman