Maintaining Appearance (And Property Values)
The summer may be coming to a close, but it is important that your management company and architectural control committee stay up-to-date with the community’s rules and regulations. Most HOA’s have covenants that require owners to maintain high standards for the upkeep of their property.These covenants, conditions, and restrictions (or CC&R’s) are an important legal document that give the association the right to enforce well maintained homes. Some owners may not be familiar with their association’s rules or may simply ignore them all together. The HOA’s board has a responsibility to help maintain the community and foster an attractive environment. Here are a few suggestions for dealing with homeowners who may not be following these rules.
- Make personal contact with the homeowner. A friendly reminder letter will do a great job to let them know about the violation in question. People are busy and it’s very easy to forget about doing something simple, like cutting the grass. In the letter, advise the owner that they are in violation of a legal rule. It’s important that you try to at least reference the article and article number in your letter. Condo Manager makes it easy to include the article number, section, and text in your violation letters.
- If the owner has not followed-up, send a warning letter to remind them again. Be succinct, yet professional. Do not include any language that may come across as “threatening.” Offer to provide contact information for a vendor that can help the homeowner complete the work in a timely fashion. Again, make a reference to the CC&R article and text.
- If you have not received a response after two letters, some associations may have the right to fine the owner for the violation. You will need to consult with your state and local laws, as well as the legal documents for the association that govern how you can approach these situations.
After sufficient warning and a fine, additional action may be incurred. Some associations will have a hearing about the fine and give the owner a chance to speak before the board. It is important to remember that the board has the responsibility of enforcing the rules and regulations of the association and it is their fiduciary duty to protect property values in the neighborhood.
Managing this process can be time consuming and frustrating, especially for association managers who work with multiple communities. Condo Manager can help your association or property management company streamline this process with automated letters and fines. The CC&R article numbers and text can be inserted with each violation and every letter that you send is stored in the homeowner’s history for future reference. For more information about how to facilitate your community’s CC&R enforcement, contact us.