HOA rules and regulations usually pertain to pets, housing, decorations, mailboxes, home-based businesses and landscaping. HOAs can specifically tailor their rules and regulations, but members have to agree to them. It's not unusual to hear of HOAs being taken to court for what members deem to be extravagant restrictions.
HOAs can create rules regarding the color a property is painted, and the specific style and size of a new home being built in an existing community. There may also be pet restrictions, in addition to rules regarding the size and location of children's play structures. HOA members who run a business out of their homes might be limited as to the type of business they are allowed to have, or they might be entirely prohibited from having a home-based business.
HOAs commonly have a framework of Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, also known as CC&R. These are usually drafted by attorneys and often include unclear language because each association requires personalized rules and regulations. Not using the CC&R drafted for another HOA prevents members from utilizing regulations and rules that are possibly either illegal or not needed for the specific HOA.
One negative aspect of a member agreeing to the terms laid out in the CC&R is the agreement is legally binding. Should the member later have any problems with the document, his options for legal recourse are usually limited.