Many people love their homeowners associations because they maintain properties and keep communities in order. These associations typically charge a single flat monthly fee. Many property owners enjoy knowing they don’t have to worry about managing the external parts of the property, but this may also put limitations on things property owners are able to do. Condo buyers are typically stuck after they purchase a property with HOA fees. They are contractually required to abide by rules set forth by the association. The state of Texas and the federal government put some restrictions on things homeowners associations are allowed to do, but these associations are still largely given free reign to establish rules as they see fit.
Legal Rights of Homeowners Associations
Pets are typically allowed at most properties managed by homeowners associations, but there are some stipulations that may prevent certain animals from traversing the property. Homeowners associations may place restrictions on certain dog breeds. They can require homeowners to walk pets in assigned areas of the property.
Homeowners associations in Texas can place restrictions on excessive noise. They may also prevent you from adding certain additions to your property. The association may set up parking regulations. This is necessary because some properties have parking space shortages. These groups can also set up assigned parking spaces. They may require cars to have an identifying sticker in the window of the vehicle. Homeowners associations may even ban the presence of boats or RVs on the property.
A homeowners association may restrict the number of colors you can paint your property. Sometimes the president of the association will be the only one allowed to make these decisions. They typically have the right to impose a fine if you aren’t compliant with the association’s rules and regulations.
Things Homeowner Associations Can’t Do
A 2012 law prevents homeowners associations in Texas from foreclosing on homes because homeowners association dues are unpaid. Property owners must be given an alternative payment plan before the homeowners association is allowed to file foreclosure proceedings. These laws allow homeowners to eliminate their debt before very serious measures are taken. Foreclosure proceedings can be a nightmare to deal with, so this law acts as a safety net for those who have trouble paying hefty HOA dues each month.
Homeowners associations can’t stop you from putting up a satellite dish on your property. A rule set by the Federal Communications Commission prevents these associations from stopping you. Associations in Texas are also required to allow you to put native plants outside your property. The community may consider these plants an eyesore, but you are legally protected in the event someone tries to remove them.
If you have a service animal, then the homeowners association cannot stop you from using it to navigate the property. The Fair Housing Act protects the disabled. This law requires homeowners associations to allow service animals. The board has the right to ask for more information, but it cannot legally dispute legitimate claims.
A 2011 law requires all homeowners associations to make records of their meetings public. This means that you have the right to access information if you believe the homeowners association is violating an existing law.
How Does This Apply to San Marcos TX real estate?
We’ve gone over some of the broader laws regulating what homeowners associations can and can’t do in the state of Texas, but are there any local rules you should know about if you’re interested in a house for sale in San Marcos TX? Every HOA is a little bit different, so it’s helpful to consult with local real estate agents in San Marcos who know the area well. The Damron Group REALTORS® are all experts on San Marcos TX real estate, so don’t hesitate to contact one of our agents if you’d like to know the specifics of a local HOA. We’ll be happy to help you on your journey to a new home!