This is the time of year we all start thinking about getting outdoors and enjoying the weather, landscaping, and puttering in the garden. It’s also this time of year that HOA members start wondering about adding some color to the outside of their units through flowering plants and bushes. But what is allowed according to typical HOA landscaping and gardening policies?
Rules most certainly vary according to community guidelines and rules so your best bet is to contact your HOA Board or Manager and discuss what is allowed and what should be left to the landscaping team.
Let’s delve into this a little further and look at what unit owners can expect from landscaping and what they can add to their unit on their own.
Approved Plant List
As a unit owner, you will want to determine if there is an approved plant list within your HOA before you head out to buy a few plants to decorate your front steps or walkway. Not all HOAs have these lists but some do to keep the aesthetics looking consistent throughout the community. This list also becomes important if your area has invasive species that they want to avoid introducing to your community such as bamboo.
Some unit owners want to garden but with their own rules or under the radar. For those owners, gardening on a deck or outdoor patio might be best so as not to disturb the other members of the HOA.
Rules About Lawn Decor
Most HOAs have certain rules that apply to outdoor decor. Mostly we think about these things during the holidays when many people decorate with lights.
These rules apply during the other seasons as well thus the need to ask your HOA board about decor that is or isn’t allowed in your garden. For instance, if you like pinwheels, gnomes, birdbaths, or planters, you will want to check them before placing them to be sure they are acceptable decor for your community. Birdbaths can be especially problematic as the stagnant water can attract mosquitoes.
The same goes for placing lawn furnishings outside your unit. If your unit is highly visible, be certain where you can place lawn furnishings as well as make sure they are well maintained.
Trees & Bushes
While it may seem obvious, most HOAs take care of all of the outdoor landscaping including the bushes or trees. If one of these plantings needs to be trimmed or shaped, it is best to inform your HOA Board so they can safely hire an arborist to do the job in a professional manner. Don’t take pruning or trimming tasks on your own!
Your walkways, brick paver patios, and stone walls are all considered the hardscape of your landscaping. Hardscape can really make a community look aesthetically pleasing and polished. If you want a walkway installed or a stone wall, talk to your HOA about rules about this as well as what the policy is for requesting additional hardscaping.
What are the rules in your HOA for gardening and landscaping? We’d love to hear from you.