A homeowners association, or an HOA, does have the right to create rules for residents of the community. They do have to follow these rules, even though the rules are not technically laws. For instance, there are often rules governing where to park vehicles, how to do home renovations, how to handle holiday decorations and things of this nature.
But in many cases, residents will break these rules. Maybe they park in places where vehicles aren’t allowed or they use paint colors on their homes that haven’t been approved. When the HOA sees these types of violations, how do they enforce them?
Sending a letter
Typically, the first step is for the HOA to send a letter to the homeowner. It will simply identify the violation and ask for it to be corrected. The letter may give a specific amount of time, such as saying that it needs to be done in the next week.
If the homeowner does not make the necessary change, then the HOA may start to charge monetary penalties. Often, these are based on a daily rate. For instance, someone could be charged $10 a day until they correct the issue. The amount of their fine just depends on how long it takes them to do so.
Beyond monetary penalties, an HOA may decide to restrict access to certain amenities. For instance, HOA fees are used to fund things like parking areas, swimming pools, parks or golf courses. A resident could be told that they can’t use these community amenities until they pay the proper fines and fix the violation.
In some rare cases, things can get serious enough that an eviction is necessary. But even when they don’t, it’s important for all involved in HOA disputes to understand their legal options.