HOA VIOLATIONS, HEARINGS AND FINES
What are HOA violations and how to avoid them?
Being a member of a Homeowners Association has many advantages that appeal to homeowners. This may include amenities, desirable curb appeal, gated entrance, security, etc. Something to consider before moving to an HOA community is their Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that all members of the association must abide to. Homeowners that reside in an HOA are expected to upkeep their homes and follow specific rules and guidelines. Failure to follow rules or to keep your property up to these expectations can result in a violation.
What is a violation?
All associations will have a set of governing documents, which include CC&Rs, Bylaws, Articles of incorporation, and other rules and regulations made by the community. When a resident of the community breaks one of the rules then they may receive a violation notice from management. Owners can find what is and isn’t a violation in their community by reading their governing documents.
Common HOA Violations
Some common HOA violations include the following:
· Landscaping (Weeds, mowing, etc.)
· Vehicles (Most Associations have parking rules in the common area. They also restrict commercial vehicles and people from storing vehicles.)
· Trash (Trash Cans left out on non-trash days)
· Exterior Storage (Stored cars, containers, etc.)
· Pets (Noise, Cleanliness, etc.)
· Architectural Changes Without Approval
· Exterior Painting Needed (Trim, Shutters, Stucco, etc.)
Ways to correct a violation Typically, a violation letter will include the details about the offense and how to correct it, and information about potential hearings, fines, and a deadline to respond or fix the issue. Most of the time corrections can be easily done by addressing the issue of the violation. For example, if you receive a landscaping violation - to please remove all weeds from front yard, you will remove the weeds and then advise management that this has been completed by submitting a photo to them.
Hearings & Fines
Failure to correct a violation can lead up to a scheduled hearing with your Board of Directors. At a hearing, the Homeowner with the violation can discuss with Management and the Board about the issue. After the hearing, the Board makes a vote on how to handle the violation based on the facts at the hearing along with their governing document rules. Management updates the homeowner of the results. If the hearing is not corrected, a lot of times a Board will vote to fine the owner based on the community’s fine policy. A normal monthly fine is $100 per month until corrected. The goal of violations, hearings, and fines are for compliance of the governing documents of the Association.