The 9 Most Common HOA Violations
Being a board member at your community association means that you have to make decisions regarding rule enforcement, and from experience, we can tell you that those decisions will not always be popular. Having a third-party management company, like Real Manage, who can notify owners and provide support, can help but having a thriving community means not only having a perfect lawn but also having happy homeowners.
One way you can try to mitigate the number of violations in your community is clearly and directly communicating expectations and making sure owners are aware of the more common violations. Each community is different, but here are the nine most common homeowner violations we see.
Problems associated with landscaping, including unkempt exteriors and overgrown lawns, are common in every community. However, as an HOA board member, you have the authority to establish rules and regulations to guide on the dos and don'ts when it comes to maintaining the homes of the community members. Make sure they understand, among other things, the type of trees and flowers they can plant as well as where they can plant them.
Some individuals in an HOA community may decide to bring in all types of RVs, commercial vehicles, and boats, leading to overfilled driveways and streets. Here, regulating the type of vehicles and vehicle-related issues such as speed and parking is important in maintaining order. You do not want to see some community members inconvenienced by a few people who do not want to adhere to community rules.
Another common HOA violation you will certainly come across as a board member is dealing with neighbors with pets. Whether you have rules on the number of pets, breed type, or the obligation to keep them on leashes, there are some who will want to circumvent the rules. Still, you need to stay vigilant as failure to enforce the rules may negatively affect other members of the community.
At some point, there will be people who want to hold parties and blast loud music throughout the night. This can affect others adversely, which makes it imperative to develop rules addressing the issue of noise. Most cities have noise ordinances that you can use to draft a comprehensive set of guidelines to protect every community member.
5. Undisclosed Rentals
It is common to see some community members rent out or sublet their homes against the HOA rules. This not only jeopardizes the community's security, but it can also affect insurances that depend on the number of owners rather than renters. Board members should ask for written permission from individuals who want to rent their homes to determine whether all the rules have been followed.
In some cases, you will have to deal with people who inconvenience their neighbors by smoking on their units without caring about the effects thereof on others. While you may not ban smoking, you should ensure that those who smoke do so while observing the rules set in place as failure to enforce them may cause harm to other members of the community.
7. Holiday or Seasonal Décor
Holiday decorations are commonplace during special days, and some neighbors may want to keep them on their front poach three months after the holidays. Here, board members should have rules on how long one can have holiday décor, the size of decors, and the ideal types to use within the community. This works to prevent neglect that can lead to a disorganized community.
Dumping old furniture on the property, not bringing out garbage on time, and even failing to put trash on designated spots is also one of the most common HOA violations. Like in many other violations, the best approach to curb this particular problem is to establish rules on how community members should handle garbage and trash.
9. Design changes
To maintain uniformity in an HOA, members are expected to establish guidelines covering the design and structure of units in the community. In case the board approves of any changes, they should make sure they (changes) adhere to the rules put in place by ACC and ARC. This means that only you can give the green light when someone decides to make a change to their home.
As a board member, you ought to be aware of the most common HOA violations to develop the right rules and regulations to countermeasure these issues. With this information, you are better placed to keep homeowners happy and your community in order.
RealManage HOA and condominium management company has the right expertise to help manage your community so you can take care of more pressing issues. Reach out to us to experience a whole new level of HOA management!