What Regulations Are Normal When Buying Into an HOA in Massachusetts


Massachusetts HOA Rules You're Likely to See When Buying

Author Bill Gassett owns Maximum Real Estate Exposure.

When buying a home, it is essential to understand what you're purchasing. For example, a homeowners association is almost always part of the deal when buying a condo. Many people will have a love-hate relationship regarding HOAs. Anyone who has ever been part of a homeowners association dispute can vouch for this.

Before purchasing a condo or home with an HOA, you should always research the rules and regulations. They will be part of the condo docs that should be readily available for any potential home buyer.

You can expect that there will be common rules with an HOA to be aware of. Many homeowners associations have basic ground rules that all members must follow. Sometimes the rules can be cumbersome if you're used to living in a single-family home.

Getting used to the transition can be challenging for some folks. So much so that they will avoid following them and end up being fined. Sometimes disputes get so ugly owners will want to know if the HOA can evict them.

HOA Rules in MassachusettsPhoto byDeposit Photos

What is a Homeowners Association (HOA)

A Homeowners Association (HOA) is a legal entity that governs and manages a specific residential community. It comprises residents who own properties within the community and is established to maintain property values and quality of life.

The HOA is responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations outlined in the HOA's documents, including the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).

The HOA typically sets up regulations for the community, including the upkeep and appearance of the residences, landscaping, and other common areas. The HOA also often manages the community's amenities, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities. The HOA may also be in charge of collecting dues from the homeowners and managing the budget.

The HOA Board of Directors comprises elected members of the community and is responsible for making decisions about the community. The Board of Directors is responsible for upholding the rules and regulations in the HOA's documents and responding to any complaints or problems.

Homeowners must pay a monthly or annual fee to participate in the HOA. These fees are used for the HOA's services and amenities, such as maintenance, landscaping, recreational facilities, and event planning. The fees also include insurance, legal fees, and other administrative costs.

The HOA Board of Directors meets regularly to discuss decisions and issues concerning the community. Homeowners are allowed to attend and speak at the meetings and are encouraged to do so to get involved in the community.

In summary, a Homeowners Association is an organization responsible for governing and managing a residential community. It sets regulations to maintain property values and manages the community's amenities. It is funded by homeowner fees and is run by an elected Board of Directors.

It is essential for all buyers to ask appropriate questions when buying a condo.

What are the Benefits of Having an HOA?

There are a few benefits to having an HOA. The first advantage is that it can improve the value of your property. When your community is well-maintained and has a consistent look, it can increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers.

Another benefit is that an HOA can help you save money. Many homeowners associations have budgeting guidelines that members must follow. This can help you control your spending and prioritize which bills you pay.

HOAs also provide a sense of community. Residents living near each other are more likely to support each other's interests. This sense of solidarity can lead to stronger relationships within the community and better cooperation when maintaining common areas.

Some people hate HOAs because they believe they're restrictive and inflexible. However, many homeowners associations offer much flexibility regarding rules and regulations. If you don't like how something is being done, you can always propose changes to the Board of Directors or vote against them on issues that matter to you.

Condos and townhouses share the commonality of rules and regs. While there are some differences between these housing choices, HOAs are usually not one of them. Even when buying new construction, you need to check what the builder has proposed will be workable for your needs.

What Are The Most Common Rules Found in HOAs in Massachusetts?

Let's examine what you can expect when you buy a condo or home regarding rules you'll need to follow.


Most HOAs have rules about parking in the community. This could include restrictions on parking on the street, in the driveway, or a specific community area. Some HOAs also require that all vehicles are registered and have current tags. You might not be able to park a commercial vehicle in your driveway for more than 24 hours,


Most HOAs also have rules about pets. This includes restrictions on the number, size, and type of animals allowed in the community. These rules are in place to ensure that pets do not disturb the peace or cause any nuisance. On many occasions, specific breeds may not be allowed due to safety concerns with owners,


Fences are often used to separate properties and add a sense of privacy. However, many HOAs have strict rules regarding the type of fence that can be installed. This could include the height, material, and color of the fence. Most of the time, you can expect a homeowners association to want uniformity. For example, it could look awkward if one homeowner has a chain link fence and another a solid white one.


Landscaping is an essential part of any community. Many HOAs have rules about the type of landscaping that can be done in the neighborhood, such as the types of plants and trees that can be planted, how much space should be left between properties, and how often the grounds should be maintained.

If landscaping is vital to your inner gardner, it will be crucial to see if you can add landscaping. Some HOAs will not let you plant.


Some HOAs have restrictions on renting out properties in the community. This could include a minimum rental period or a limit on the number of properties that can be rented out at any given time. When the maximum amount of rentals is reached, you won't be able to rent your home.

This could become problematic if you desire to rent instead of selling.

Decorations and Signage

Believe it or not, many homeowners associations will limit the type of decorations displayed outside of a property. This could include holiday decorations, flags, and other items. These rules are in place to ensure that the community remains aesthetically pleasing.

Final Thoughts on HOA Rules in Massachusetts

One of the most essential things to determine immediately is whether you can live with the rules set forth by the HOA. You'll be better off purchasing elsewhere if they don't meet your lifestyle.

Did you enjoy this advice on What rules are normal when buying into a Massachusetts HOA? See other real estate articles on NewsBreak for more timely tips and advice. Bill often writes about general real estate, mortgages, finance, moving, and home improvement.

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Bill Gassett is an avid writer for numerous real estate topics including finance, mortgages, moving, home improvement, and general real estate. His work has been featured on numerous prestigious real estate publications.

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