California residents and others who live in areas governed by a homeowners association need to remain current on its rules and regulations. Failure to do so could result in fines or other charges regardless of how minor the violation may seem to a homeowner. There are many common types of violations that residents may commit, such as driving too fast through the neighborhood. HOA fines could be added on top of any imposed by local authorities.
Typically, HOA rules are designed to keep residents safe and to keep the neighborhood clean and attractive. For instance, individuals may face a fine for bringing out a trash can too early or leaving it out too late. This is because a trash can could look unseemly and potentially attract pests. Homeowners who don't mow their lawn or get rid of weeds could be penalized for not doing so. They could also be penalized for planting the wrong types of flowers or trees.
Those who choose to rent out rooms in their homes may run afoul of HOA rules. The same is true if they have too many people occupying a single home at one time. Individuals who don't clean up after their pets could be targeted for a fine or other violation. Having the wrong type of pet could cause a safety issue and get a homeowner in trouble.
Generally speaking, it is important for homeowners to keep their properties looking nice. However, if they find themselves in an HOA dispute over a rules violation, it may be worth asking for help from a legal professional. In some cases, homeowners may not actually be breaking association rules or might be targeted because of a misunderstanding. An attorney may help resolve the matter in a manner favorable to the homeowner.