What Happens When HOA Members Fail To Follow Architectural Guidelines?

Posted on August 20, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Before a homeowner puts up a new building or sets up a major structure like a fence on their property, they’re typically required to follow the HOA’s architectural review process.  But there are some homeowners who fail to comply with that even when the rules might be posted on the community website.  Here are a few tips for dealing with such members should you encounter them in your association.
Discuss It With The Offender

Perhaps the homeowner misunderstood the rules or just wasn’t aware of their limitations.  The best way of reaching out to them is through writing so communication remains confidential.  Send them an official letter informing them that they need to follow the correct protocols before going any further with their project.  Be sure to include a description of the violation, the solution, and the possible repercussions that could come if they continue the violation.
Impose A Fine

In the event a homeowner ignores the first letter and pursues the project anyway, it’s time to take severe steps as outlined in the HOA’s laws.  Following the established laws and procedures, send the violator a fine letter so they know how the issue should be settled.

Normally, the homeowner has a right to a hearing with the board.  If they book one, ensure it is granted as they get the opportunity to try and prove why they think they’re being unlawfully fined.  Depending on the facts and outcome of the hearing, the fines may or may not be imposed so the board should always be ready for what comes next.

In some cases, the homeowner loses the hearing but still doesn’t pay the fine.  When this happens, it’s time for the last step which is filing a lawsuit.  To prevent the mayhem that comes along with that, use the community website to create more awareness.  The architectural guidelines should be crystal clear, as well as the construction and landscaping regulations of the HOA so all homeowners know how the process works.
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