Homeowner’s associations can be very confusing regarding what the association allows for fence placement. Each association will have its own set of rules that govern what residents have to abide by. An HOA can make homeowners change many things about their homes if they violate the contract.
A homeowner’s association (HOA) can legally require residents to take down their fence if it violates the contract. HOAs can even take legal action against any resident that violates the terms of the agreement. This legal action could go as far as having a court order issued by a judge to remove the fence.
HOAs could take legal action against any person who violates the terms of the agreement. The homeowner’s association’s costs might even be directed to the homeowner to pay in response to the contract violation.
What Happens if You Put up a Fence Without HOA Approval?
Installing a fence that does not comply with current HOA guidelines will likely be met with repercussions from the HOA. They can take many separate actions included in the association’s by-laws.
The most common scenarios for breaching the contract include:
- Requesting the fence to be remade
- Requiring the fence to be removed entirely
- Checking the rest of the neighborhood for fence code violations
- Having the fence removed and then passing the bill onto the homeowner
- Fines from the HOA
At a minimum, the homeowner will have to get approval from the HOA before installing any fence on the property. However, sometimes residents try and skirt around this rule and install it without approval.
In these instances, if any adjustments need to be made to the fence, the HOA may ask the homeowner to complete the additional work by a specific date.
How Can I Convince my HOA to Allow My Fence?
Each HOA has a distinct set of laws known as the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs). The document will outline all of the accepted styles of the fence and the specific dimensions allowed.
Submit the blueprints to the HOA through their submission process and follow up with the person responsible for approving the blueprints.
Another hurdle to overcome is to get a property inspection to help figure out exactly where the property line is. Then, if the fence is within their guidelines, the HOA should allow it.
What Happens if You Do Something Without HOA Approval?
The HOA will send a letter to the homeowner explaining what the violation is and expect the homeowner to respond within a specified amount of time. From this point, if the homeowner does not comply, the HOA will take action.
They might hire a contractor to do the work and take out or change the fence if the homeowner still doesn’t comply. The HOA will then bill the homeowner for the work.
The HOA holds member meetings in which neighborhood issues are discussed. This meeting will bring up the fence and is an excellent time to get approval or start getting everything approved.
Working with the HOA is a lot better than working against them.
How do You Fight an HOA?
Fighting an HOA starts with filing a grievance against them requesting a hearing. In California, filing a complaint with the homeowner association committee is an option.
Every HOA has an appeals process or a process to settle disputes.
Aside from pursuing legal action, taking to social media is another way to fight back against an HOA. However, remember that these posts are public and could lead to a lawsuit for slander. Stick to the facts and avoid comments that could be seen as defamatory.
Conclusion on If HOAs Can Make Homeowners Take Their Fences Down
Designing the fence within the CCR guidelines will save a lot of headaches and money. In addition, most fence installation companies will even help with the entire process when installing a fence.
Complying with the HOA after having signed their contract when you moved in helps limit the number of fines from the HOA.