Homeowners Associations

Breaking the rules can cost you more than the monthly fee

for Cross’ $4,300 bill, the association agreed to allow her to pay $2,500 and forgave the remainder. “I think others should go to the board when they have a conflict, explain your situation, and work it out with them,” she says. “If I ever move into another community with a homeowners association, I’ll make certain that the dues are paid annually and are reasonable, read the bylaws completely beforehand, and make sure I pay my own water bill.”

For information on homeowners associations, go to www.caion line.org, www.athomenet.com, www.associationonline.com, or www.homepartner.com.


  • Read the bylaws.
  • Pay fines promptly.
  • Ask if bills, like trash, are paid promptly.
  • Resolve conflict amicably.
  • Talk to residents.


  • Move into a community without doing your own research.
  • Make changes without permission.
  • Ignore fines levied against you.
  • Be an uninvolved member.
  • Forget to ask questions.
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