Many people live in communities ruled and regulated by homeowner associations (HOA), an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condo. A homeowner association typically sets restrictions on properties in their jurisdiction that each resident must abide by. HOA board of directors or governors may enforce rules that homeowners must maintain, no matter how minor or drastic, otherwise, homeowners may face penalties.
When an HOA believes a resident has violated their guidelines, they may send out a violation letter to the said homeowner. Homeowners may be required to pay extra fees for their violation, alongside their annual fees. Here’s what you should know:
Don’t ignore a violation letter
Before accepting and paying the fines and responding to the violation letter, residents may consider reading over the violation carefully. They may consider looking at why they were fined in the first place, what they’re expected to do as recompense and when they’re expected to take action. Homeowners may come to believe that the violation was unwarranted, as it happens quite frequently that violations are trivial, out of a homeowner’s control or aren’t regulated under HOA guidelines.
It’s important that homeowners, who are believed to have violated an HOA code, respond to their violation letters. Ignoring a violation letter may only lead to an HOA board sending additional fees. However, if you disagree with a violation letter, you may consider asking questions or taking further action.
Seek a formal hearing
Generally, residents in an HOA jurisdiction may request a formal hearing to discuss their violations. During a hearing, residents may create a case against their supposed violations, why they shouldn’t have been issued a violation and appeal for the dismissal of the violation.
The HOA board will, typically, consider appeal. If the board disagrees with the appeal, there may be additional fees for non-compliance and a request to amend the violation.
Take legal action
Residents who still disagree with an HOA violation letter and decisions may need to consider taking legal action. HOA directors don’t have total control over their residents and still must follow rules granted to homeowners. It’s critical to know your rights as a homeowner, both as a homeowner and a resident under an HOA administration.