In an ideal world, all HOA residents would know the regulations like the back of their hands—and if they didn’t, which is understandable for new members, they’d quickly take action to remedy any infractions. Unfortunately, though, we live in the real world, and it’s not unheard of for HOAs to find themselves with residents who continuously ignore or otherwise fail to follow rules.
What do you do about them to professionally handle the situation, and how do you restore your neighborhood to order? Gassen, your Eden Prairie property management services provider, is here to help. While there’s no one simple answer to this sticky situation, we’ve got some tips on how to make headway below.
Understand the Difference Between Repeat and Continuous Violations
Differentiating between these two concepts makes a huge difference in how you handle the situation! Repeat violations, on one hand, are when a resident breaks the same rule in repeated instances; perhaps they regularly don’t pay their dues on time, for example. Continuous violations are when a single violation is perpetuated for a significant length of time. Case in point, a new resident doesn’t know that the architectural committee exists and redoes their roof in an unapproved color.
The second type of rule violation, though it can be large in scope, can also be the product of ignorance—and it can take a while to change, so be patient. Repeat offenses, on the other hand, generally aren’t and usually can be remedied more quickly with appropriate action.
Consider Monetary Discouragement
Fines aren’t used in all HOAs, but they remain an effective way of discouraging inappropriate behavior, provided you use them fairly and legally. Don’t fine with reckless abandon, but don’t let repeat offenses slide, either. Doing so just lets the offending resident know that they can get away with whatever it is they’re doing.
Lean into Liens
It’s a complex subject, but if your HOA management needs to pull out all the stops, it might be the right route to take. An HOA lien, according to SFGate, is “a judgment lien that results from a court-ordered money judgment. In essence, a HOA will go to court over a homeowner member's delinquent dues and attempt to convince the court to issue a judgment.”
Liens aren’t a solution to all repeat rule-breaks, though; according to Nolo, “Based on the HOA's Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and state law, most HOAs have the power to get a lien on a property if the homeowners become delinquent in paying the assessments.” Deeply research your state laws before going this route.
Gassen: Online Property Management and More for Orderly HOAs
Our local property management team is here to help your neighborhood stand out. Reach our Eden Prairie office today at 952-922-5575.