Real Estate FAQ's | Why Do HOA's Have Fines?

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Real Estate FAQ's Why HOA's Have FinesIf you have never lived in a condominium community, or a single family home community with a strong Homeowners Association (HOA) then you may have not experienced getting fined for being bad! So, Why Do HOA's Have Fines?

In the simplest of terms, not everyone gets that you are living in VERY close proximity to your neighbors. Say about 6-8 inches!!! All that seperates you from your neighbor in a condo building is....a WALL! And on one floor, you can have 12-16 neighbors! And when you do certain things (things that are wrong in many ways) there has to be a way to remind you and all your neighbors that you have been....well BAD!

But in reality, the purpose of Why HOA's Have Fines is to protect not only the common property of all the residents, but the overall quality of life in the building. If a resident repeatedly does something against the HOA rules, there has to be a way for the HOA Board to fix the situation. It's not like an apartment complex where management can terminate a lease and ask you to move out! You OWN the condo!

For example, think about smoking. Personally, I can't stand it. (I tried it in High School, and thankfully it did not stick with me) And if you have ever been around smoking, you know that an ashtray full of butts is a nasty thing at best. So, in a condo building, when you are done, why not just toss your butt off your balcony? Yeah, that's a pretty cool thing to do, right? W-R-O-N-G!!!! How would you like to wake up in the morning and find your balcony (you live below the guilty guy) covered with butts? Better yet, remember that butt still has flame on it...and what do you suppose happens when it lands on a piece of balcony furniture with a cushion on it, or better yet in the landscaping on the amenity deck below? Did you know that trees, mulch and cushions BURN AND CATCH FIRE???

That's Why HOA's Have Fines.

I know you're thinking, 'What idiot would do such a thing?' Well, plenty of them, unfortunately.

You've been at work all day, and Fido needs to go! But Fido's got to go down the hallway, wait for an elevator, ride to the lobby and get out the door to the dog walk. Suppose Fido has an accident along the you clean it up? Ya think, right? Well just imagine smelling the carpet on your elevator floor foyer after Fido's tinkle.....YUCK! And WHO pays to have the carpet cleaned? EVERYONE!

That's Why HOA's Have Fines.

Landscaping, carpet, pools, pool decks, club rooms and such are all common elements in a condominium building, s-h-a-r-e-d by ALL residents. So when a few are bad apples, there has to be a way to help the bad apples out of the barrel. We can't throw them out, but we can get them "healthy" with a few fines.

So what are some other common Condo HOA Fines?


HOA Fines

As you can see, being a "bad resident" can get pretty costly in this condo building.

Just remember, we all have to live together and so that's Why HOA's Have Fines.


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David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Thom, very nice post about HOAs and Fines... I always tell buyers to read the docs because the rules will NOT be changed just for them once they are a home owner. 

Jun 05, 2012 08:38 PM #2
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Thom,

The closer we are in physical proximity, the more prickly the relationships tend to be.

Rules and fines are intended to regulate behavior


Jun 05, 2012 08:48 PM #3
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Thom Abbott

Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale
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