Part of a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) management company’s job is to make the community a desirable place for homeowners to live. Sometimes this responsibility includes the enforcement of rules and regulations put in place by the community.
Although an HOA board is ultimately responsible for establishing and maintaining community standards, board members are also fellow homeowners in the community they serve. To maintain harmony with their neighbors, boards often hire an outside management company to act as a rule enforcer.
The association management company will likely be tasked with visiting the community regularly to look for violations. If a violation is noted, they are also in charge of:
- Notifying the homeowner
- Following up to make sure the violation is corrected
- Assessing and collecting fines
Each association has its own rules and guidelines for how community regulations should be enforced. When a new resident buys a home in the neighborhood, he or she agrees to follow these rules, as stated in the community’s governing documents.
Check the Bylaws and CC&Rs for Guidance
HOA violation enforcement cannot be arbitrary or discriminatory. An HOA and its management company can only enforce rules allowed by the association’s governing documents. These documents include:
- Bylaws — As a nonprofit corporation, an HOA must have procedural rules in place. The bylaws contain information about how the association business should operate, including board members elections, board meeting frequency, and voting procedures for new regulations.
- CC&Rs — An HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) provide detailed regulations on how homeowners should maintain their properties and the appropriate penalties for violation.
Common HOA Violations
Although rules vary from community to community, some common HOA violations that an association management company may be called on to enforce include:
- Landscaping — Homeowners will likely need to keep their lawns watered, trimmed below a certain height, and free of debris. In some cases, the HOA may even specify what kind of grass or other landscaping options are allowed in the front yard.
- Vehicle parking and storage — Some HOAs have regulations about what vehicles can be parked on the street or even on the property itself. Storing a boat, RV, or non-operational vehicle could be a violation.
- Trash receptacles — There may be a limit to how long garbage and recycling containers can remain at the curb after the trash is collected.
- Signs — The community may choose to ban signs placed in the yard or displayed on the exterior of a home or in a window.
- Architectural modifications — In most cases, a homeowner who wants to make exterior property improvements will need to get prior approval from the HOA board. These improvements could include an addition, a new fence, or even a fresh coat of paint.
CINC Systems’ community management software includes features to help meet an HOA condo manager’s specific needs. The dedicated violations module allows managers to maintain violation photographs and documents in one centralized location while automating tasks like homeowner notifications and precise calculations to optimize the violation enforcement process. Click here to try a free CINC Systems demo today.