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Why do residents break HOA rules?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Real Estate Law

If you run an HOA, or a Homeowners’ Association, you know that residents are going to break the rules. One of the challenges for an HOA is determining how to enforce these rules and what steps to take when residents break them consistently.

But you may also find yourself confused as to why these rules are being broken in the first place. Yes, an HOA does have more rules than another type of community. But all of the individuals who live in that community are well aware of this fact upfront, and they agreed to those rules when they decided where to buy their homes. So why do they then break the rules they already agreed to follow?

They are ignoring the rule or they are unaware of it

For one thing, there are people who will intentionally ignore the rules, perhaps just hoping that they are not caught. There are others who may be unaware of the rule. They did agree to it when they chose to live in that community, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they remember it or that they even read all of the paperwork.

They see it as a temporary violation

Others will break the rules in a temporary fashion, never intending to do it long-term. For instance, there are some violations about holiday decorations being left up for too long or exterior storage areas being used inappropriately – such as storing broken cars in the front yard. When confronted, the homeowner may say that they know that they weren’t supposed to break the rule, but that they were quickly going to rectify the situation.

What options does the HOA have?

In many cases, simply talking to the homeowners will get them to make the necessary changes. But there are also scenarios where they will refuse to change or break the same rules repeatedly. At those times, you need to know what legal steps you can take as an HOA owner.