While riding around in your community it can be easy to spot rules violations in every neighborhood, and yes, hopefully, they are being addressed fairly and without excessive fining. Most people do want to comply with restrictions and understand homeowner associations are just small governments that are trying to keep their communities safe while trying to maintain and increase property values.
Whether it is municipality code or an HOA’s Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, rules are in place for the benefit of the majority. After all of these years, we are still amazed that people buy into a community and have no idea what they have agreed to.
Maybe the real estate agent simply failed to provide the governing documents at closing, but that is no excuse in the eyes of the law or directors. It really is up to the buyer to perform due diligence and investigate before signing the sales agreement. For more on that topic, feel free to check out the article we wrote about things you need to know about purchasing in a Homeowners Association.
Acri’s Top 10 Code Violations List
We are sharing our top 10 Code Violations List. If any of these items sound like a pervasive problem in your community we assure you that you are not alone.
- Setting out garbage cans too early and not bringing them in. Also neglecting to store the cans or recycle bins in the approved manner. We all know about the neighbor who comes home from work and casually ignores those empty garbage cans as if they were invisible, oftentimes for days.
- Many Associations have restrictions about parking and storing boats and recreational vehicles. Even if it is grandpa coming to visit, he will need to park or store that RV in an approved manner. Setting up a campground in the driveway is not permitted.
- Proper and accepted landscape maintenance standards. While it can be frustrating to receive a notice about your lawn’s scraggly state, it’s in the best interest of the whole neighborhood — including yours — to keep your yard respectable.
- Improperly registered, inoperable and abandoned vehicles. Also, a commercial vehicle being parked in a residential area may not be allowed as well. See #2 above.
- Too many people living in a residence. Many documents address this issue and clearly define the occupancy limit. The municipality and the association documents may be in conflict making it difficult for HOA enforcement. In addition, this situation also creates parking problems as well in a neighborhood or an HOA.
- Illegal accumulation of abandoned property and debris. What about the neighbor that never puts anything away or stores it on the side of the house for years. The size of the collection seems to grow exponentially over time. Not only is this an eyesore but can harbor varmints.
- Building permits not obtained for home improvements. It is up to the homeowner to obtain the proper municipal permitting and inspections. This also includes the association ARC approval process from the Board prior to the improvement being installed.
- Running a small business out of your home. The municipality closely regulates this one. It is one thing to work from home and quite another to run a busy storefront. This also results in parking and traffic problems.
- Prohibited signs. A few “the party is here” signs is one thing. Whether it is in the window, not in the window, too large, too many, the list goes on. Take down yard sale signs immediately after the event.
The Most Irritating Item on the Top 10 HOA Code Violations List.
- Pet doo-doo. Gotta love that neighbor who travels bagless. Someone should remind them that the community is not an airport. You will get charged for the extra baggage you leave behind.
Typically, your HOA rules mirror closely what your municipality has in place. If you have a neighbor who refuses to comply, generally there are already ordinances that may possibly be stronger than the rules within the community.
Listen, no one wants to be a tattletale, but if you do not address it early you can have bigger issues in the future. Throwing a fit over the HOA letter that reminds you to not to park in emergency vehicle access areas vs understanding that there are legal consequences for endangering lives is common sense, right? Sometimes, it just needs to sink in that the problem, in many cases, is the perpetrator and not the HOA.
Feel free to contact us with any of your “pet peeves” and we’ll be happy to share them.
Rinaldo Acri Says “The requirement to join a homeowner’s association (HOA) is a fact of life in many urban areas today.”
The HOA can pop up in gated communities, condo complexes, and even in the traditional neighborhoods. Setting up rules early on is crucial to establish a community’s success.