Recent news about HOAs has sparked debates on social media and in conversations with neighbors, and wmdouglas. Residents have complained of developers pocketing neighborhood fees and absentee management companies squabbling with homeowners over minor rules.Galvin says these disputes can get ugly. Some of them have even ended up in court.
1. HOA Violation Letters
The majority of people who live in communities with homeowners associations (HOAs) abide by the rules and regulations put in place to maintain the appearance and integrity of the neighborhood. When a resident breaks a rule, the HOA will send them a violation letter to alert them of the infraction and give them a time frame in which to correct it.
When writing a violation letter, it’s important to be firm but friendly. This helps communicate that the issue is serious without sounding like a personal attack on the resident. In addition, it’s a good idea to include a reference to the specific HOA rule that was broken.
In addition, the letter should specify a timeline for correction and what will happen if the problem isn’t resolved, such as fines or legal action. It’s also important to allow residents the option to request a hearing, which is their right. This allows them to resolve the matter without going through the hassle of enforcement litigation.
2. Tree Violations
Homeowners associations do a lot of great things, but they also come with some responsibilities. One of the biggest is maintaining community property, which includes the landscape. That means mowing the lawn, keeping it free of weeds, and fertilizing seasonally. If homeowners fail to do these things, they can be hit with fines.
Another common issue is tree violations. If a tree from one resident’s yard falls on the neighbor’s house, who should be responsible? The answer depends on the rules set forth in the governing documents.
Some people have complained that their HOA has been targeting them with bogus fines. If you’re thinking about buying a home with an HOA, ask your real estate agent for more information. They can tell you if the rules are strict enough for you to be comfortable living in an HOA. If they aren’t, an HOA may not be right for you. For more news and weather, check out WCNC Charlotte’s Flashpoint and Locked On podcasts.
3. HOA Board Members
The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the association and making decisions that benefit the community. The Board is elected at the annual meeting of homeowners and is responsible for enforcing the association’s governing documents, which include, but are not limited to, the articles of incorporation, the HOA bylaws, and the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
Although most community developments have a management company that helps with day-to-day tasks like sending violation notices and working with residents on resolutions, HOA members still play an important role in their communities. This is because their decisions can have a direct impact on residents.
Typically, there are three to seven board members who are elected by the homeowners at their annual meeting. They serve for a specified number of years, and their term lengths are usually staggered. The board president is a non-voting member of the board and presides over meetings, making sure that all decisions are made with the best interests of the community in mind.
4. HOA Management
HOA members expect their board of directors to act ethically and responsibly when it comes to community funds. This requires sound budgeting practices and regular financial reviews, reserve studies, and audits. It also means maintaining good relationships with the property manager and keeping residents informed about projects and meetings.
Boards can encourage a sense of ownership in the community by communicating with residents often. Depending on the association bylaws, this may include regularly scheduled meetings or a community-only email newsletter.
HOAs also need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the rules. If one resident gets a ticket while another doesn’t, the former might feel like they’re being singled out or punished unfairly. This is why a good management company will provide training and education for board members, which can help keep the peace between homeowners.