Love them or hate them, HOAs exist to protect your property value. They can be a good thing as they protect the value of the entire neighborhood, as well as some amenities, like landscaping, pools, or community parks.

Unfortunately, some HOAs tend to be nitpicky, and it’s up to you to avoid fines. You can be fined for obvious things like painting your house an obnoxious color or parking commercial vehicles outside your house for extended periods of time. But sometimes, you can be fined for less obvious reasons related to curb appeal that you may have never even considered, like yard work or unsightly crawl space vent covers.

We have some personal experience with these situations. If you’re looking to stay in your HOA’s good graces, then read on to discover the best HOA tips to keep your association from hitting you with notices and fines.

Know the Rules

This might seem like a no-brainer, but actually reading through the HOA handbook and guidelines is immensely helpful and one of the best HOA tips you should follow. Reading about homeowner association rules and regulations is rarely fun or interesting, so you may have skipped this step when you moved into your house. However, knowing rules—including ones that seem arbitrary—can help you avoid a confrontation with your local HOA. Some rules may even be at odds with each other, so be sure to read carefully rather than skimming the sections.

Once you know the homeowner association rules, you should always respect them. You can avoid most conflicts, including costly legal ones, when you follow the rules. If you want to change a rule, you should always go through the proper channels before you start disregarding that rule. Some HOAs are flexible and can be changed, so get in contact with your board if there is a rule you want to change.

Keep Friendly with Your Neighbors

It’s a good idea to try being a good neighbor. Having a good relationship with your neighbors will avoid a lot of unnecessary drama and confrontations. If you see them violating an HOA rule, you could try to talk to them first before running off to the HOA board to report them. Keeping communication open and positive will result in a much better living environment for everyone.

Inviting neighbors to HOA community meetings and activities is also a good way to get the entire community involved. After all, everyone is paying the same monthly dues. When people feel involved in the process and that their opinions are heard, it makes the neighborhood a more positive place. You can even band together to get rid of policies that don’t serve the interests of the community well, so it’s important to form and uphold those neighborhood connections.

Get Involved

Keeping communication open with board members and other neighbors is easiest to do at the HOA community meetings. Depending on your state and your association, you may be able to present any issues on your mind at the meetings. But even if your association has stricter guidelines about the content discussed at official meetings, it’s a good idea to attend as you can find out what’s going on in the community. With HOA living, you will want to find out as soon as possible about things like raising annual dues or new rules taking effect.

The association can affect your daily life, so it’s important to keep up to date on all the latest news and information at meetings. You should try to attend the annual meeting at least since you might want a say in the election of new board members. If current members are not doing their jobs well or abusing their privileges, you will need to be there to vote for new members.

Check Before Doing Exterior Renovations

You may think some simple home improvement renovations are beyond the scope of the association. However, some homeowner association rules are strict about major changes to the outside of your home. Though you may be ready to personalize your house to your tastes, it’s best to get approval from your association before beginning any projects. Otherwise you might risk accumulating fines for these changes.

Maintain Aesthetics

Part of the homeowner association rules have to do with the curb appeal of your house. These rules can include big exterior renovations or have to do with little things like yard work (what plants you can use, how tall your grass can get, etc.), siding, paint, not leaving your trash cans visible, crawl space vent covers, and a lot more.

If you are receiving fines or notices for unsightly styrofoam vent covers or you want to ensure that it doesn’t happen at all, then you’ll need to invest in higher-quality covers. Our crawl space covers are designed with aesthetics in mind, so you won’t have to deal with the HOA getting involved in the curb appeal of your house. Vanity Vents provide durable, high-quality vent covers that come in a few different elegant neutral colors (white, gray, tan, and green).

Vanity Vents crawl space vent covers are easy to install on your own, plus you don’t need any sealants or adhesives to pop them onto your vents. They are also low-maintenance when it comes to cleaning and taking care of them. While styrofoam vent covers get dirty, dented, and unusable after a short amount of time, our vent covers are incredibly easy to clean and are able to withstand harsh weather conditions. A clean and elegant cover is a great combination to ensure you won’t get any notices for your vent covers being an unsightly addition to the outside of your home.

Dealing with HOA living can be an annoyance, especially when all you want to do is personalize your home and update it. However, making changes without approval or disregarding rules can make your life hard. It’s important to keep up with the curb appeal of the exterior of your home. Most associations have regulations to make sure that the neighborhood continues to keep up a nice appearance. If you’re dealing with an HOA and want to avoid notices about the state of the outside of your house, you’ll want to shop our elegant collection of vent covers over cheap styrofoam ones.