Opening your mailbox and finding a violation notice from the HOA can provoke unharmonious actions and attitudes. What do you do as a Board member when the homeowner seeks you out or comes to a Board meeting in anger? What are your responsibilities at the actual Board meeting?
Here are five proven tips to handle the issue like a Zen-master.
1. Remind homeowners that the HOA has no interest in “targeting” one particular owner:
Most likely, a Compliance Officer works with the HOA and management company to keep the HOA operating within the stipulated rules and regulations. Everyone wants their home values to rise, and a well-maintained community is a prime factor in that. A community with a random pink house, toys strewn around the lawn, or mismatched components, degrades home values.
2. Review the rules:
Have a copy on hand and know the community rules with a more-than-passing knowledge. Understanding the nuances of rules and regulations helps with homeowner discussions.
3. Review the enforcement policy:
- Know the community enforcement policy and stick to it with fidelity. The due process of this policy is important for fairness, consistent-and-equal treatment and is the backbone of discussion if the issue ever goes to court.
- Know the general common elements versus limited common elements versus homeowner areas.
4. Know the details:
- If the Board packet has violations in it, review the violation details before the meeting (if the packet does not include violations, suggest they become a part of the packet – a paper copy, on-hand, reduces confusion, contention and misinformation during hearings or homeowner forum).
- Remember that as a board member, you have access to a full violations summary at any time via the HOA website.
- Review the CAP Management blog for useful tips and ideas.
5. Know the tenants:
- Not all HOAs know if owners rent out their units and if tenants have been properly informed of the HOA rules. Getting to know the resident of a unit is never a bad step, after all, they’re neighbors! We encourage introducing yourself, and we’re happy to provide a copy of the rules and regulations to any tenant!
- Make sure homeowners are registered on the CAP Management homeowner website to receive any community-wide communication that can curtail violations.
Author: Ben Tryon