Some people sing the praises of Homeowner Associations (HOAs), whilst others are distinctly less impressed by them.
However if you live in a property that is part of an HOA, you have to follow the rules and regulations it sets.
The problem is that on certain matters they might not always be 100% clear.
And one of those matters is trampolines.
So can you have a trampoline on your property if you are part of an HOA?
Let’s take a closer look…
Can You Have A Trampoline With An HOA?
The rules of HOAs vary. Some will allow trampolines without too much fuss, some will prohibit them completely and others will see them as exterior modifications/additions that will require approval, usually via an architectural review board or committee. Always check the rules and regulations of your HOA thoroughly.
What Is An HOA?
Homeowner Associations began springing up around the start of the 20th century, and basically set the rules for the people living in the community.
Not all homes are governed by an HOA, but if you move into an area that is, you automatically become part of the HOA.
A board of directors, elected by the community, runs the HOA.
The board governs regulations regarding what properties in the neighborhood should look like and what the people who own them can or can’t do.
The rules are laid out in a document called a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R).
So What Do HOAs Say About Trampolines?
Now this is where it can begin to get tricky.
There isn’t one unified approach regarding trampolines when it comes to HOAs.
Some won’t allow them, and some will. Some will make a specific reference to them in the CC&Rs, whilst others will be much more ambiguous.
Here is a very rough outline of what you might expect from your HOA regarding trampolines:
- It may not allow trampolines where they are visible to neighbors and noise is excessive.
- On this basis, a trampoline in a fenced-in backyard is more likely to be approved/allowed than if it was in the front yard.
- They may not make specific reference to trampolines, but they may fall under the term ‘structure’ in CC&Rs.
- You may need to put your proposal for a trampoline before an HOA committee, for instance an Architectural Review Committee or something similar.
If a trampoline is allowed, then it may be permitted subject to certain regulations set by the HOA, such as:
- You may be required to have insurance coverage for the trampoline in case of any incidents.
- The trampoline could have certain limitations placed on where it can be situated. For instance it might be required to be a certain distance from fences, structures, trees, property boundaries, etc.
- There may be a limit on the size of the trampoline you can install.
- It may be required that the trampoline is well anchored to the ground, to guard against it being disturbed by high winds.
- If you live in an area that is prone to storms, certain HOAs may insist trampolines be dismantled and stored away during storm season.
The long and short of it is, before you do anything, get your HOA documents and check the architectural rules and regulations.
But even then it might not be totally clear!
Installing A Trampoline In An HOA Neighborhood
Regardless of your HOA, they are most likely to have one of three approaches to trampolines:
- They will allow it, but won’t be liable for anything that happens on it.
- They will not allow it and will point you to the restrictions and rules that regulate against it.
- It will need to go before a review committee who make a decision.
If trampolines are prohibited and a neighbor has put up a trampoline that you object to, then you simply should make the HOA board aware of the violation. They will then deal with it.
In the same scenario as above, but if approval is required from a review committee, you can ask to speak to the person on the committee who reviewed and approved the installation of the trampoline.
They can either give you the reasons the trampoline was approved, or you might find out that they knew nothing about the trampoline.
If it is the latter the owner will have to submit a request for review and approval of the already installed trampoline.
If it is you looking to install a trampoline, then you will need to go before the review committee prior to installing the trampoline.
Often, as outlined above, in this situation a trampoline will be allowed providing some principles are followed.
Namely that it is placed somewhere safe and secure and away from view, and that it is positioned sensibly.
HOAs are required to implement their rules fairly and equally, so you could find out if other applications for trampolines have been denied or approved in the past and on what grounds.
Any reasons for disapproval should be within the HOA’s current guidelines.
An HOA is at risk of a lawsuit if they do not enforce the rules as stated in the HOA regulations.
As a last resort, if you are looking to put up a trampoline and being unjustly rebuffed you can hire an attorney, preferably one with experience in HOA litigation to deal with the situation.
This is likely to be expensive though!
Yes you can have a trampoline if you are part of an HOA, but equally you cannot have a trampoline if you are part of an HOA.
It all depends upon the individual situation and the rules and regulations of the HOA in question.
Often installing a trampoline will be classed as an addition or modification, and it will require additional approval from an HOA committee.
A trampoline in your backyard that is secured and not visible is far more likely to be approved than having a trampoline in your front yard that is visible to all.
The best thing you can do is to consult your HOA rules and regulations.
If trampolines are prohibited then that is sorted, you can’t have one. If they aren’t prohibited find the procedure to add them and follow the rules laid out.