Tips For Enforcing HOA Rules and Regulations

We all encounter rules on a daily basis: “Handicap parking only,” “You break it, you buy it,” or “No shirt, no shoes, no service,” just to name a few. We know that there are often consequences for breaking these rules, but what about breaking the rules where you live? Unfortunately for many homeowner’s association and community association boards, community members aren’t always worried about playing by the rules.

As part of a HOA board, how can you enforce the rules? Keep reading to learn a few simple tips for enforcing HOA rules and regulations.

Any community that is governed by a community or homeowner’s association has its own set of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, or CC&Rs. Owners are expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth in these documents.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t pay close attention to the CC&Rs until they’ve been notified that a rule has been broken.

Here are some effective methods HOAs can use to enforce the policies set forth in the CC&Rs.

Issue a Warning

The best first step in enforcing HOA rules is issuing warnings when a homeowner is in violation. Because many do not read the CC&R binder from cover to cover, they may simply be unaware of the problem. Issue a written warning that specifically explains the violation. In many cases, the homeowner will correct the problem without further action.

Assess Fines

When a warning goes unheeded, you may need to issue a fine. Fines are the most common means of enforcing CC&R rules, but they’re also problematic. Many individuals who feel they have the right to break a rule will feel that they aren’t obligated to pay the fine. When this happens, you may find yourself needing to hire a HOA lawyer, which could lead to more fines and fees for the offender.

Institute a Lien

Liens should only be used as a last resort. A lien does not guarantee payment, but if the homeowner sells, part of the proceeds could be used to pay back any funds that are owed to the HOA.

When enforcing HOA rules and regulations, it is crucial to treat all members of the community equally. Doing so prevents many potential problems before they arise, and equal treatment makes it easier to enforce rules.

If you are finding it difficult to enforce the rules and regulations in your HOA, you may want to consider working with a professional community management company. For condominium management in Sarasota, Florida, trust the experts of AMI!

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