HOA Violation Inspections are a necessary part of our normal management services that we provide our HOA and Condo communities. Although it is just one of the many services we perform for our communities, it’s certainly a main focus for many homeowners. It’s understandable why. Many homeowners can be surprised that they received a compliance violation, and others can be frustrated on why they are being informed to correct something on their home.
A lot of the focus comes from a lack of understanding about the Declaration and CCR’s. One of our biggest priorities for our company is to provide any and all education necessary to our HOA communities to ensure that all homeowners fully understand the association documents, including the Rules and regulations and the CCR’s for their community. Understanding the actual compliance violation process certainly helps others further understand the intentions of the inspection process.
We wanted to help clarify some of the common myths or misconceptions of conducting HOA Violation inspections.
The Inspector is targeting me – This is something that we can hear sometimes from a frustrated homeowner. One of the biggest no-no’s in our eyes is too allow any kind of selective enforcement to take place within an HOA. One of our responsibilities to the HOA and board members is to always insure violation enforcement is equal across the community. Our talented HOA managers and Violation Inspection team certainly don’t have any incentive, nor the time, to concentrate on anything other than completing their inspections fully and to the best of their ability. We provide our HOA board of directors a full report of all details, including pictures, violation types, and the timing of inspections to keep the process completely transparent.
My neighbors didn’t get a notice. What about them? – A lot of people tend to want to look around and evaluate their street after receiving a violation notification in the mail. One of the direct responses we receive quite often is why they received a notice, but nearby neighbor did not. This is a common assumption by HOA members. Many times, the neighbors they might be accusing of wrong doing, are already on the inspection team radar, or may have already received a violation. For the protection of the privacy of our homeowners, we certainly don’t provide that information directly. We instead insure them that we will document their information given and of course cross check that information and keep it on file for future violation inspections.
Why didn’t they just knock on the door? – On many occasions, we have been asked why our violation inspector didn’t knock on the door and let them know of the violation as opposed to sending them a notice in the mail. Certainly, in unique circumstances, this could be possible, but as a whole, this is not executable with regularity. We send out several forms of notification via email, mail, text, and in our owners’ online resident portal area. Most peoples reaction to answering the door to be informed they are in violation of something isn’t a positive one. There are some obvious safety concerns and also several legal responsibilities, depending on your area, that HOA management companies must comply by. One of which will involves documentation in writing of the compliance violation. This takes us to our next myth to discuss.
Why are you taking pictures? – Pictures are certainly not required to issue a violation to a homeowner, but in this day and age, have become the standard for our HOA and Condo communities. Transparency is the biggest reason our company has made it part of our standard compliance inspection procedure. We believe the homeowner and community board members, should be able to view images of the violation should anything be questioned. This way all parties are on the same page and can have a sense of clarity on all violation occurrences. We have had some occurrences of people calling the Police or feeling uneasy about seeing someone taking pictures of their property. Our HOA violation inspection team will always be driving a vehicle that is clearly marked with proper company credentials as well as carry proper identification with them at all times.
You can’t fine me – Depending on your community’s documents, and specifically your fine and enforcement policy, your community may have the right to levy compliance fines on any one unit or address. This is certainly something that neither the HOA board members nor HOA management company enjoys, but is something that, at times, is necessary. For most people, their home is their biggest asset, which is why certain policies and procedures are put in place to help protect that for the owners in the HOA community.
HOA Violations inspections are conducted as a process to help protect and promote HOA communities to their highest potential. The association’s goal is not to be hurtful or authoritative during this process, but simply help protect the community’s property values for all of it’s owner members. Education and transparency are important key factors that must be considered while conducting the HOA violation process. Making all policies and HOA community documents readily available along with clear communication from the association is certainly is something that is a must. Well conducted HOA violation inspections, will help contribute to a more successful HOA or condo community.