The welcoming, clean appearance of the other homes on the block may have been one of the reasons you decided to buy a house in that neighborhood. As you signed the papers, you were most likely made aware that your neighborhood is governed by a homeowners’ association. Like other Washington residents, this may have given you some concern. Many homeowners believe their HOAs have overly strict rules and get involved in issues they should stay out of. However, you may want to learn about whether your HOA may prevent costly disputes with your neighbors.
As NerdWallet explains, there are numerous reasons homeowners’ associations came into being. Like other homeowners in your area, you want the property values to remain consistent and you do not want to deal with unpleasant neighbors or poorly maintained properties. The purpose of an HOA is to ensure residents comply with rules regarding noise, excessive vehicles, unsightly decorations, unkempt yards and even illegal activities.
Therefore, you can see how your homeowners’ association may protect you if you are involved in a dispute with your neighbor about a treehouse he or she is attempting to build that would obstruct a scenic view. Or, you may be kept awake at night by loud parties or bothered by the eyesore of weeds in your neighbor’s lawn, which your HOA may be able to address.
It is also possible for a homeowners’ association to overstep its bounds. For example, you may have been issued an unreasonable fine for having your garage door open or for putting up Christmas decorations. For these reasons, legal counsel may be necessary. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.