Helpful Tips to Ensure Covenant Compliance
People buy houses in HOAs to live in a neighborhood that’s pleasant and well-kept, and an HOA’s board and ACC bring this dream community to life by ensuring that community rules are understood and kept by all the members. After all, it takes a village to care for, well, the village.
To help your homeowners live the dream, let’s cover some tips for improving covenant compliance in the HOA.
- Take advantage of Spectrum’s welcome package for new homeowners; it contains instructions for finding the CC&Rs, so no one is out of the loop.
- Spend a few moments at board meetings and annual meetings to remind homeowners where they can find the community’s governing documents.
- Include timely reminders of community rules in newsletters or community eblasts, such as a reminder in the spring to submit an ACC request before starting gardening projects or a reminder in January of when to take down holiday decorations.
- Reward homeowners who do a great job of maintaining their property with a “Yard of the Month” contest. You can award a first, second, and third place to recognize more community members.
- Promote the use of Spectrum’s app. With it, homeowners can always have the governing documents on hand.
- Enforce covenant violations reasonably and consistently. To do this, your HOA can use standard responses when homeowners request more time to cure violations and should refer to past variances granted by the HOA when considering whether to approve a homeowner’s variance request. Each homeowner should have the same experience when contacting the HOA.
- Create and adopt architectural design guidelines to clarify vague rules in the CC&Rs. This way, homeowners can be sure they are following the rules, and the HOA will have objective, specific standards to enforce.
- Create and adopt a violations policy that clearly outlines the steps for escalation and penalties for noncompliance, and make this policy easy to access for homeowners by posting it to the HOA website.
- If your association includes fines in its covenant enforcement strategy, consider creating a process that allows fines to be removed once a homeowner brings their lot into compliance. This way, you can provide a win-win solution for homeowners and the HOA!
- Be proactive when a major event, such as extreme weather, impacts the HOA. Communicate plans to get properties back into compliance, and set clear timelines for completion.
Ensuring the community’s covenants are enforced fairly and consistently is a big job that requires a lot of attention, effort, and care. That’s why partnering with a community management company like Spectrum Association Management can do wonders in making your community every owner’s dream home. We’re here to help with locations in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Phoenix!