Enforcing Rules & Regs

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Enforcement: Might a Local Ordinance Help Your Community Association?

What can an HOA or condominium association do when activity is occurring within the community that appears to be objectionable, but which is not specifically addressed in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or other association governing documents? The

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Beyond Letters and Fines: When to Take Further Actions

The ultimate option the community association has to collect on delinquent assessments is the lien. However, the lien is like the nuclear ‘football’ that follows the president. It can and should be considered only as a last resort, and with

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The Complete Story of the River Oaks Tank

The tactical withdrawal of Tony Buzbee’s World War II-era Sherman M4A4 tank earlier this month brought the month-long Battle of River Oaks Boulevard to a close.  After Buzbee—a trial lawyer, Marine veteran, and proud Aggie alum (and current A&M regent)—parked

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How to Enact and Enforce HOA Rules

All homeowners’ associations or HOAs will consider adopting rules and regulations by which residents must abide while living in the community. These policies should be developed for the common good of the community. Because of the interpersonal (neighbor to neighbor)

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“Rule of law” is necessary for peaceful common interest communities (VA)

It’s sometimes said that democracy, or our civilization, is built upon the rule of law. The same might also be said of property owners associations and condominium communities, where the governing rules and regulations prescribe how residents can live in

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Mother May I? Coping with Permissions in Community Associations

Everyone remembers our parents’ favorite retort: “When you’re 18 and on your own, you can do what you want, but when you’re in my house, it’s my rules” or something similar. No matter what we wanted to do as young

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Halloween is upon us

It is officially fall and that means Halloween is right around the corner. Doorsteps will soon be adorned with pumpkins, autumn wreaths, and spooky figures, but what does your HOA actually allow? Since some people get really excited for the

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The Fine Art of Making Fines Stick (NY)

Most condominium bylaws give boards the power to impose fines on unit-owners who break the house rules. However, a condo board’s power to levy fines is limited, and the courts cannot be relied on to enforce the collection of fines.

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After Years of Looking the Other Way, a South Durham HOA Cracks Down on Front-Yard Gardens (NC)

What happens when the board governing a community doesn’t represent a majority of the community’s wishes?  That’s the furor overtaking Woodcroft, a leafy neighborhood in south Durham. The argument is ostensibly about gardens, but ultimately it’s more than that: it’s

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When Residents Break Rules

All too often, we are asked by boards of directors and property managers what steps can be taken to prevent residents from continuing to break rules in their communities. Seldom, however, do we hear community associations that are active and

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Parents Fuming Over HOA Letter Discouraging Kids Playing Outside Home (CA)

Some homeowners in a Granite Bay neighborhood are fuming over a letter sent out by the homeowners association that they say goes too far.  The letter discourages children playing outdoors on neighborhood streets and even suggests parents take their kids

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Three Tips to Help You Crack Down on Unenforced Rules

If you are the new manager of an HOA or a new leader in the board, it may have come to your attention that certain rules have been passed over or relaxed, lulling residents into a sense of complacency. HOAs

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HOA Restriction Enforcement and Architectural Control for Boards

Your HOA has several restrictions set in place for the benefit of all of the residents within the neighborhood. This can include everything from the colors that houses in the community association can be painted to the types of structures

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Rule Skirting and How to Avoid it in Your HOA

Let’s be honest – every HOA struggles with residents who skirt the rules. Sometimes it’s a one-time thing, and other times it’s chronic. No matter what rules are being broken, every HOA needs to address the issues without coming across

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Procedure Matters (WA)

One piece of advice we often give our community association boards is that the procedure used by an association to take any given action is often more susceptible to challenge than the action itself. In other words, how you do

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Drafting and Enforcing Parking Restrictions

Despite the going green initiatives and increased use of public transit, ownership and use of automobiles remains a necessity for most. Our need for automobiles translates to parking problems in many communities with limited parking availability. To help alleviate their

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Addressing Harassment Issues in Community Associations

As is well understood, Community Association Boards are elected to manage the property, affairs, and business of the Association. The Board has the power to enforce obligations of the unit owners and do what is necessary and proper for the

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HOAs and Clotheslines

Summertime means the weather warms up and homeowners will put their laundry out on a clothesline to dry. Homeowners living in HOAs, condos or other common interest communities may be violating community rules by hanging their wardrobe up outside.  Nationwide,

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So Your Neighbor Put Up an Offensive Flag—What Can You Do?

Tensions are running high across the nation in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, where one protester was killed. Residents of Northern California and Tennessee are bracing for more rallies and protests this weekend, which will

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Can your HOA issue you a speeding ticket? (AZ)

Sun Lakes is in the East Valley and is known for having active adult communities for retirees like Bernie Van Emden.  “You name it, they got it here,” Van Emden said of all of the amenities in his development.  Van

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Condo Living: Can the board fine me for property violations?

Q: I transferred my home to my revocable trust a few years ago. The Board is trying to fine me for property violations. Can the Board fine me individually when my trust owns the property?    Read the Q&A…………..

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Surrey strata president told he can’t use cameras to fine residents. He disagrees (BC)

The president of an embattled strata council at a Surrey condo building defended its use of surveillance cameras to enforce bylaws after residents complained about $40,000 in fines allegedly being issued in a single month.  Alin Stana is the president

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Why Enforcing the Rules Must Be a Priority of the HOA Board

One of the most important jobs a homeowners association Board has to do is to enforce the rules of the Association. As a Board member it is part of your duty to make sure all the regulations are followed by

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HOAs Turned Police

How far should a homeowners association go to enforce speeding, traffic violations and reckless driving within their community? What should a Board of Directors do when a homeowner or resident speeds or endangers the safety of others in the association

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Failure to Enforce Condo Rules – Noise “Lack of rules/enforcement results in more problems than rules some oppose”

Love them or not, condo rules are necessary.  Many people share ownership of a condo building. Condo rules exist because not everyone conducts themselves in a manner that gives proper consideration to their neighbours.  Lack of rules and weak enforcement

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Homeowners associations should consider fining fireworks violators, police suggest (TX)

Police are suggesting people consider a novel way to handle illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods: Ask their homeowners association to fine their neighbors.  Officer Scott Boehm posted on NextDoor that fireworks — banned within San Antonio city limits — are

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HOA Homefront: What to do when you get a notice for a board hearing

A notice of a disciplinary hearing is not the best kind of mail to open, but in common interest communities that is how associations compel owners to be good neighbors.  How one responds to a hearing notice can greatly affect

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Guiding Principles for Enforcement Hearings

Since our enforcement hearing presentation at WSCAI’s Made for Managers Day a couple of weeks ago, we have been getting a lot of feedback on the variety of procedures employed for community association enforcement hearings, generally with the question “is

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What to Do When an HOA Board Member is Breaking the Rules

The ultimate goal in a homeowners association is for everyone to be respectful and live together peacefully. However, it’s hard to accomplish both of these goals when you have members breaking the rules – especially if it’s a board member.

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Enforcing Long Unenforced Rules In Your HOA

It may come as little surprise that quite a few homeowner association boards fail miserably in rule enforcement, especially in self managed HOAs. Let’s face it, confrontation with neighbors is not something most people look forward to. So when certain

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Five Tips for Effective Enforcement of HOA Rules

One of the biggest mistakes we see are boards making inconsistent rulings or being very lax with what their CC&Rs say. While it may seem easier to let some things slide, like ignoring people who leave garbage bins in their

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Does a Foreclosure Complaint Prevent a Community Association from Enforcing Rules and Regulations? (NJ)

A New Jersey Chancery Court was called upon to rule whether the filing of a foreclosure complaint by a condominium association prevents the association from taking other actions to enforce its rules and regulations as they would apply to the

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Oceano homeowner shares HOA struggles as a lesson to others (CA)

A local woman is being forced to remove a room she added to her home because she didn’t follow her homeowner’s association guidelines.  Sheila Eckert, a special education tutor, has lived in her Old Avocado Ranch home in Oceano since

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3 Tips for Effective Covenant Compliance

It’s a topic of discussion at every Board meeting – who’s following the rules and who isn’t. People choose to live in community associations because they want to preserve their property values, but if the board and management aren’t enforcing

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Home-based businesses complicate condo rules (NH)

In a past column, I (briefly) mentioned the concerns about having a business operating out of a residential condominium association. I need to expand on this a bit as it is becoming an issue in more associations.  Most older condo

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Above the Law: Why Homeowners Try to Skirt the Rules

You’ve seen it more times than you can count: rebellious homeowners living on the edge (or over the edge) of the HOA rules. While “rebellious” is probably a strong word in most cases, you are faced with a dilemma either

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Appeals court reverses summary judgment against homeowner (FL)

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a homeowners’ association.  The appeals court ruling follows a July 2016 decision by the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The circuit court

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Be prepared to answer the question “Why?” if you want to defuse conflict in your community

“Why can’t we use the pool after dusk?” the wiry man at the microphone bellowed. “I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I need to use the pool to stay in shape” and with that statement, he pointed to

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Residents: Home Values Drop Due to Unenforced CCRs (ID)

Residents of a Twin Falls subdivision are considering legal action against developers, saying the covenants, conditions and restrictions meant to regulate the neighborhood’s housing design and upkeep have not been enforced.  Julie Davis moved to Settlers Ridge Subdivision in northwest

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Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

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The Role of the Covenants Enforcement Officers in a Homeowners Association

The staff or volunteers you see occasionally walking around the community with clipboards or tablets are the homeowners association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe, and that nothing

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Selective Enforcement: Common Sense Prevails

As often happens when a community association enforces its covenants and rules and regulations against an owner, the owner responds to the association saying, “The house down the street is in violation with the rules and regulations, too! Why aren’t

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HOA Homefront – Can the association enforce unwritten rules?

Q:  This past year we got a new homeowners association manager, and there has been a huge increase in the number of violation letters. Some are for items like patio chairs on walkways, water hoses not coiled in specific areas,

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Dealing with Difficult Residents

At some point, every community will face conflict and difficult people. When this occurs, remember that patience and communication always prevail. By managing your reactions, listening and asking the right questions, your community and board will come to a resolution.

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The Unenforceable: When a Rule is Not a Rule

One Monday morning, I arrived at the office of one of our managed properties, and I was greeted by a visibly upset board president. Steeling myself for what was the source of her dissatisfaction, I asked “what is the matter?”

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Condo Association Hearing Tips for Owners

The dreaded hearing. For whatever reason – maybe legitimate, maybe not – your Board has issued a hearing with your name on it. They want to meet with you over your behavior and they’ve got the power of the Bylaws

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How to deal with a weak homeowners association

Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitor property conditions puts the complaining

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Dear Monty: 3 options for homeowners in a weak homeowners association

More Content Now Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association (HOA) has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitoring property

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Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL)

When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial

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How to Judge Condo Association Hearings

You’ve prepared for your hearing and held your hearing – now it’s time for you to decide the outcome. This is the judgment and penalty phase of the hearing process. Unlike the other phases, in this phase, you’re dealing with

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