Homeowner Association Architectural Review Standards (FL)

Two of the bills signed into law this month by the Governor modify Florida Statute 720.3035 regulating architectural review. Because of these two pending changes to the law, homeowner’s associations should review their architectural review with their community association attorney.    Read the article…………………………….

Spring Is Here – Time To Get Your Architectural Review House In Order

Winter is over and spring has finally arrived! For many homeowners this means that the time has come to begin thinking about home improvement projects. Installing gardens, refreshing landscaping, expanding patios, constructing sheds, and house painting are common spring and summer projects. For associations, and their architectural review committees, this could mean an influx of […]

New Law Impacting Hurricane Protections for Florida HOAs

Florida House Bill 293 (HB 293) was signed into law and immediately went into effect. This new law addresses hurricane protections for homeowners’ associations (HOAs) in Florida.  Entitled “Hurricane Protections for Homeowner Associations,” this new Florida law mandates that HOAs adopt specific hurricane protection standards for structures and improvements within their communities.  These standards must […]

Homeowner Association Architectural Review Standards (FL)

Two of the bills signed into law this month by the Governor modify Florida Statute 720.3035 regulating architectural review. Because of these two pending changes to the law, homeowner’s associations should review their architectural review with their community association attorney.   Read the article…………………………….

Can your HOA prevent you from renovating your house? (FL)

A house is one huge investment that most people aspire to attain in their lives. And when you finally achieve this goal, you will feel excited to personalize it and make it truly your own. However, before you proceed with that renovation plan, check if there are restrictions in your neighborhood.   Read the article…………………………….

Understanding Landscaping Architectural Requirements for Co-owners

When it comes to maintaining the aesthetic and functional integrity of shared properties, understanding the landscaping architectural requirements is crucial for co-owners. Whether you are part of a homeowners association (HOA), a condominium association, or any other type of residential community, staying informed about these regulations can help you avoid legal pitfalls and ensure your […]

Architectural Review Committees – Their Powers Get Slashed (FL)

HB 1203 made some major changes regarding architectural review committees. To sum it up, their powers were greatly slashed. Let’s take a look:  An association or any architectural, construction improvement, or similar committee of an association must reasonably and equitably apply and enforce on all parcel owners the architectural and construction improvement standards authorized by […]

Mastering ARC Applications: Best Practices for HOA Board Members

If you’re part of a community association board, you will become familiar with Architectural Control – the process for reviewing and approving additions or exterior modification requests for homes within the community. Whether the board is tasked with managing the process or delegated to an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or Architectural Review Board (ARB), you […]

Mastering the Architectural Review Process

Reviewing architectural applications is typically part of a community association manager’s bread and butter. However, the architectural review process can be fraught with stumbling blocks, and architectural disputes with homeowners can be drawn-out, expensive affairs. A few practice tips for processing architectural applications are listed below to help master the architectural review process:   Read the […]

A Mooresville couple tried to paint their home. They were hit with a $1,000 fine from their HOA (NC)

Living in a neighborhood run by a homeowners association has its advantages, like maintaining uniformity with the exterior colors of the homes.  But after discovering some of their HOA’s “approved” colors didn’t even exist anymore, a Mooresville family found themselves asking, “Where’s the money?”  The family picked a color they liked, only to be hit […]

Mastering Architectural Guidelines for Arizona HOAs

Architectural guidelines are more than mere regulations. They’re the keystones that shape the character and quality of our communities. These guidelines serve as the compass guiding homeowners and HOA boards alike, ensuring that every change and addition enhances the collective aesthetic and value of the neighborhood. In this comprehensive exploration, we explore the nuances of […]

Architectural Reviews

February is the time of year when those of us in Ohio start thinking about sunnier and warmer days to come. For many people, that means making plans for summer projects and improvements to their homes. Establishing architectural standards and reviewing applications for exterior improvements is one of the most important jobs for many HOA […]

ARC process now reflects HOA rules (MD)

The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors approved two resolutions to conform with the Maryland HOA Act related to Architectural Review Committee guidelines. The changes related to the workings of the committee and enforcement/notification of homeowners about violations.   Read the article…………………………..

Best to wait for written approval before starting project (NV)

Q: Back in January 2022, we submitted an Architectural Review Committee application to our subdivision HOA to add concrete steps leading to the front door and side concrete walkway on the right side of the front yard leading from the sidewalk to our side yard gate. They wanted a specific start and stop with the work, […]

The How-To’s of ACCs (TX)

A new year is quickly approaching and, after hours of inspiration from watching Fixer Upper, homeowners may be feeling inspired to add on to or remodel the exterior of their homes and update their landscaping. On top of that, the extended drought has led to many needing unexpected repairs, giving owners an excuse to undertake […]

Court won’t order owners to destroy houses (VA)

Where a homeowners’ association argued the court should order homeowners to tear down houses allegedly built in violation of the association’s covenants and restrictions, the court refused. Demolition of their homes would be grossly out of proportion with the relief sought.    Read the article………………………………..

Transparency in HOA’s architectural review process

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in maintaining a neighborhood’s aesthetic and structural integrity. When homeowners want to make changes to the exterior of their homes, such as adding a new fence or changing its paint color, they often need approval from the HOA.    Read the article………………………..

Co-p and Condo Buyers Are Responsible for Previous Alterations

In 2005, a shareholder at an Upper East Side co-op renovated his apartment after signing an alteration agreement in which he took responsibility for any damages that might result from the alterations. The agreement carried an additional requirement: if the apartment was ever sold, the new purchaser had to agree to assume responsibility for these […]

The Importance of HOA Architectural Guidelines

An HOA does more than just set and enforce rules. Homeowners Associations really exist to help create a shared vision and establish a unified identity within communities. One of the ways they do this is through the use of architectural guidelines.   Read the article………………………..

Florida couple in dispute with Avalon Park HOA over decorative stones in yard

The Avalon Park Property Owners’s Association says the white rocks around Demeris and Jose Heinsen’s home violate the neighborhood by-laws. The couple got a letter saying they have two weeks to remove the stones, which the couple said was part of more than $10,000 worth of landscaping work.  Read the article………………………..

ACC Request Denied? Here are the Steps to Making a Proper Appeal

If you live in a community with an HOA, then you likely know that home improvement projects require approval from your association’s Architectural Control/Review Committee (ACC/ARC). While this extra step can feel tedious when you’re ready to break out the paint and tools, it is important as it helps your community maintain a cohesive look, […]

Are Swim Spas In Homeowners Associations Allowed? (NC)

It’s not uncommon to see swim spas in homeowners associations. Residents see it as a cheaper alternative to backyard pools, though not all communities might permit it. Homeowners should make sure to review their association’s governing documents before installing a swim spa. Similarly, HOA boards should approach the topic with caution to avoid potential liability.  […]

Boca Raton HOA Sues Resident Over Fence, House Color (FL)

In another example reaffirming that complying with a homeowner association’s rules is not optional in Florida, the Fieldbrook Estates property owner’s association is suing a homeowner over the removal of a fence, the repainting of a home in a color not approved by the HOA, and other cosmetic issues. The fence removal, according to a […]

Getting Approval For Home Renovations In HOA Communities

Homeowners typically need to secure approval for home renovations in HOA communities. And while the process can vary from one association to another, there are a few general guidelines you can follow.     Read the article………………………..

The Homeowner’s Guide to Architectural Review Requests

One of the greatest joys of being a homeowner is being able to make your space your own. However, when you live in a community with an HOA, you may find that there are some extra steps that are needed prior to making any changes to your home.   Read the article………………………..

What Projects Require HOA Approval? Plan Carefully Before Starting a Project

A new home project can be exciting, but there’s something that all homeowners in an HOA need to be aware of and that is whether the project requires approval or not. If a homeowner were to start a project that required approval but didn’t request it first, there could be consequences (these would depend on […]

Architectural Committees Formal Procedures, Published Standards, and Self Help (FL)

There are strict legal requirements that a homeowners’ association’s (HOA) architectural review committee (ARC) must follow, most especially if the ARC intends to deny an owner’s request. As this author has witnessed countless times, it is likely that many ARCs do not conduct their activities in conformity with Florida law such that an ARC denial […]

Orangecrest Country Cmty. Ass’n v. Burns (CA)

Homeowner Burns submitted an architectural request for various improvements to her property, one of which was the construction of six-foot high stucco walls in her front yard. The association’s architectural guidelines restrict owners from constructing walls or fences in their front yards. The association sent Burns a letter approving her proposed improvements with the following […]

Community Association Management and Architectural Controls

Architectural controls are necessary for an HOA’s ability to protect the homeowners’ investment and quality of life. Understanding architectural controls and how community association management can help with them can be a major advantage to a new community and its developers.  Read the article………………………..

HOA Backyard Rules: What Can And Can’t Homeowners Do

When it comes to HOA communities, rules are normal. That is why homeowners living in these communities, as well as buyers who are still considering purchasing a home in these communities, should familiarize themselves with the rules of the association. These include HOA backyard rules.   Read the article………………………..

Refresher on the Architectural Approval Process (CA)

Most CC&Rs require owners of the separate interests to obtain association approval prior to making structural alterations or alterations to the exterior of their separate interests or common area.  Read the article………………………..


Defendant Sandra Burns sought approval to build a wall across her front yard, and when her homeowners association said no, she built it anyway. After multiple attempts to get her to stop construction (and later to mediate the issue) failed, the association sued Burns, seeking a permanent injunction requiring her to remove the wall.   Read […]