Okay – so the nicest thing I can say about the snow we had on Mother’s Day is that it was really annoying. However, regardless of our quirky Colorado weather, spring really is here! That means HOA boards and residents need to anticipate and avoid common pitfalls and controversies that can arise as we spend time outdoors during the spring and summer. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:


●          Pick Up the Poop! While folks might get away with not being as vigilant about picking up dog poop during the winter, I can assure you that this will become a major issue in the spring and summer. Let’s face it, poop is just nasty and dog owners should have enough respect for their neighbors to pick up after their pets. If you have a poop problem in your HOA, think about instituting a “poop patrol.” 


●          Get Approval Before Making Improvements! Before making improvements to the exterior of your home or landscape, please first determine whether you need approval from your HOA to make those improvements. If you do need pre-approval, make sure to go through the required approval process and do nothing until you receive a response from your HOA. Do not assume the management or board will look the other way. This is a recipe for disaster and you will not want to be required to remove the gazebo you spent so much time and money constructing!


●          Fly the American Flag with Pride! HOAs cannot prohibit residents from flying the American flag or service flags. However, associations are permitted to regulate the placement of flags and how they are displayed. Check out this blog entry for more information on how Colorado law regulates the flying of the American flag and service flags in HOAs. HOA boards should ensure that their rules relating to flags comply with these legal requirements. 


●          Be Good Neighbors! Since so many of us love to spend time out of our homes during the spring and summer, it’s important to remember to take into account the feelings of our neighbors when we are outside. This is particularly true in condominiums and densely built associations where homes are constructed very close together. We need to think about how much noise we are making and whether we are causing a neighborhood disturbance. We need to pick up our “summer recreational, picnic and gardening stuff” and put it away when we are finished with it. We need to make sure that our beloved pets are not causing an unreasonable disturbance in the neighborhood by incessantly barking. While you may think these common sense tips do not need to be mentioned, I can assure you that nuisance complaints are a major issue in HOAs during the spring and summer months.


I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we have seen the last snow we will have until fall. So head outside and have a safe and enjoyable time free from controversy and violation letters!