How Does an HOA Enforce Rules?
Societies have always been founded on the basis of people agreeing to live a certain way to improve life for everyone involved. There are lots of benefits to living in an HOA, and these all come because of the agreement of members of the community to follow certain rules. As important as deciding upon these rules is making sure they are enforced to keep your community flowing smoothly.
At First Offense
We’re all human, and all humans make mistakes. It can be easy to forget some CC&R regulations, or simply not notice that some part of your property has slipped out of accordance with them. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to start off with a simple reminder and give the homeowner a chance to fix it themselves.
If at First You Don’t Succeed
Sometimes a simple reminder won’t be enough. After giving the homeowners an appropriate amount of time to fix the problem, if it still has not been resolved, a more serious warning may be in order. This warning should give the recipient an idea of what consequences will follow if the notice isn’t heeded.
Try, Try Again
At third strike, a homeowner still found in violation of one or more CC&R regulations could face consequences that will discourage the behavior from continuing or being repeated. This could come in the form of a fine, loss of amenity privileges, or even loss of voting privileges.
Whatever consequences are issued to the homeowner, make sure that they are enough to deter the behavior without being overly harsh, and especially that they are permittable by the language of your HOA’s governing documents. It’s a good idea to have these steps planned out beforehand in order to make enforcing the rules as easy as possible and to make sure everyone is treated fairly.
In more serious situations, these conditions could escalate as far as a lawsuit, but this should only be as a last resort. Otherwise, being assertive, while also giving homeowners the benefit of the doubt, will generally resolve conflicts quickly and amicably.
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