If you live in a community with a homeowners association, gaining HOA board approval before you paint your home's exterior is an essential requirement.
Most homeowners associations, or HOAs, are wonderful to work with. Occasionally, you do get some that are more difficult, take their time getting back to you or are very strict in its approval process for house painting.
Why HOA approval is important
One of our customers this summer had his HOA approach him after we painted his home's exterior. They told him he hadn’t received written approval he needed to paint his home and that a design review committee would have to approve the new paint color. Our customer told the HOA he didn’t know about the approval process, wasn’t going to change the color and couldn’t afford the expense of repainting his home again.
The customer had just purchased the home and told his HOA he wasn’t too concerned with their threat to place a lien on his home. His logic was that he didn’t plan to sell his home within the next eight years. So if they put a lien on his home, by the time he decided to sell, it would be due for a new paint job anyway.
I experienced the potential hassle of dealing with an HOA firsthand when it came time to paint my home’s exterior this past fall. Let me tell you, it could have been a real nightmare — if we didn’t have our ducks in a row.
I contacted my HOA in the early summer and explained we wanted to paint our home exterior by early fall. They directed me to the HOA website, where I was supposed to print out a form and list my color choices with the paint swatches attached to it. Once I filled out and returned the form, it would go to the HOA board for approval. When I submitted the form, including mailing the original and making a duplicate of it, I explained in detail the paint color, manufacturer, product quality, sheen and the location that each color would be applied.
Several weeks later, they mailed an approval form from one of the HOA board members. A few weeks later, we repainted our home. Within a week we received a notice stating we did not get proper approval from the HOA and would be fined. The HOA also stated we would need to resubmit the paint colors to be approved.
After further review, they decided I was not in the wrong and the threat of a fine was lifted. I’m not sure where the communication breakdown occurred, but I was glad I went through the proper channels, kept copies, and had a copy of the HOA board member’s approval!