HOAs & Fences
Let’s face it, HOAs sometimes suck. While they exist to cultivate a sense of security and community and to maintain property values, many of us see their efforts as a massive over-step in terms of privacy and liberty. Arguments can be made for both sides, but regardless of where you stand, it’s always good to be educated on any HOAs in places that you live or that you plan to live, ESPECIALLY if you’re planning on building a fence.
Here at Aluminum Fences Direct, we’re about convenience and empowering property owners, so let us arm you with all the knowledge you need about those pesky HOAs.
A State-by-State Guide to HOAs
Now the thing about HOAs is that there are a TON of them in every state, so a full-on guide to each and every one of the over 370,000 HOAs would obviously be an insane undertaking that I’m not getting paid enough to tackle. Luckily, the Homeowners Protection Bureau has already done that work for us. If you have general questions that you need answered, just click on your state of choice down below:
HOAs and Aluminum Fencing
As you probably already know, fencing is kind of what we do. If you want to know more about proposing aluminum fencing to your HOA, we created a handy little guide to that a few years back that you can check out here. But there are other details about fencing that are worthy of discussion too, so let’s dig into that a little bit.
HOAs Can Be VERY Nitpicky With Fencing
Look, HOAs might be here to help, but it sure doesn’t always feel like it. One of the ways that problems arise between HOAs and homeowners is with just how specific HOAs can be when it comes to their guidelines and restrictions within their communities. There’s a good chance that they’re not going to like your ideas initially, or that they’ll have some opinions and adjustment that don’t sit well with you.
Like with any relationship, it’s all about compromise, so just expect some potentially-lengthy back-and-forth with your HOA and make sure that your plans for building are clearly outlined. We specialize in guiding you through the process of fence building step-by-step, so if you’re running into problems, contact us and we can help you out.
Your Fence, HOAs, & The Law
As backwards as it might seem, most fencing laws are loosely regulated or ill-defined, so it’s up to local HOAs to enforce fencing guidelines more strongly. Basically, HOAs pick up the slack for the law, so you don’t have much legal recourse if you find yourself at an impasse with your HOA about what you want do with your fence.
Additionally, if your fence borders a neighbor’s property, then it’s considered something called a “Boundary Fence”. That means that there’s an allotted portion of the fence where you and your neighbor share dual ownership, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re 1) familiar with your property’s boundary lines and 2) that you and your neighbor are on the same page regarding what you want to do with the fence for that allotted portion. Like we said before, just make sure your HOA knows exactly what you plan to do BEFORE you buy. Otherwise, you’re in for a world of frustration and grief.
Some Typical HOA Rules You’ll Run Into
As we’ve been over, every HOA is different and we can’t speak for all of them. However, there are some regulations that are more common than others, so just remember that you’ll PROBABLY run into these, but there’s a good chance you also won’t.
Minimum Fence Height/Width
A lot of HOAs have a minimum height/width that they’ll enforce on you. A 4ft. height with no more than 4 inches in between pickets is a common example of what they’ll tell you.
Your fence might have to be positioned a particular length from your property lines (we call this a “setback”). Again, this will require you to have up-to-date and legally recognized property boundary surveys, so if you don’t have that info, contact a land surveyor asap.
Building and staying on your HOAs good side is really just a game of preparation. Knowing the exact fence that you want to build, where you want to build it, and checking in with your HOA before you get started will undoubtedly make the process less of a hassle.
If you need help getting the details squared away or finding a fence that works within your HOA guidelines (and that you can put together yourself), check out our site. We’ll get you taken care of.