Phoenix residents who are members of their homeowner association (HOA) board have a duty to make sure residents are adhering to the HOA rules and regulations. HOA’s serve an important purpose. They contribute to a pleasant and orderly neighborhood and sustain home values.
Unfortunately, sometimes HOA members may not comply with the rules and regulations, leaving HOA board members to wonder what they can do to ensure compliance.
Helpful enforcement methods
HOA boards have several options. They can:
- Give a warning
- Assess a fine
- Suspend homeowner privileges
Sending a written warning is a good first step. Homeowners likely received copies of all HOA documents when moving into their property, but the likelihood that they read all the documents is slim. The HOA violation could be unintentional if they did not know they violated a rule.
If a warning does not remedy the issue, a fine may work. The amount of the fine should be in proportion to the violation, as HOA rules must be enforced uniformly and fairly. A fine of several hundred dollars for not putting up a Christmas wreath may be excessive and do more harm than good.
Suspension of privileges is another option to consider. The advantage of many HOA’s is having access to things such as pools or other amenities. Suspending the right to these benefits increases the chances of compliance.
Dealing with more serious violations
In cases involving a major violation, or if the homeowner continues to violate the HOA rules, higher penalties may be necessary. HOA boards can potentially place a lien on the violator’s property. Although payment may not come until and unless the homeowner sells the property, knowing a lien has been placed on it could make them realize the HOA is taking their violation seriously.
Any action taken must stay within the bounds of the HOA bylaws and documents, as well as Arizona state law. Real estate attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help HOA boards enforce their rules and regulations in an authoritative, yet legal, manner.