Enforcing community association rules is one of the most important jobs that your Board does. Covenants and regulations are in place to maintain property value, meet state and federal laws and to keep the community running smoothly. Rules are the corner stones of a successful community. You’ll find the chaos quickly ensues when enforcement is lax or you make exceptions. Here are four important reasons why you need to enforce HOA rules.
Like any other business, associations have expenses for maintenance, amenities, insurance, etc. All owners must pay their assessments for the association to have money for day-to-day operations, upgrades and other expenses. If you’re lax on collections, every owner suffers the consequences of less maintenance or increased assessment fees.
Equality for All HOA Owners
Bumps, collisions and disasters happen when some drivers ignore the rules of the road. It’s the same for HOAs—owners must follow the rules to avoid problems. Word spreads quickly if you bend a rule for one owner, and it prompts others to ask for an exemption. It’s your duty to enforce the rules impartially for every owner in the community, including all Board members. Fair treatment paves the road for a successful community.
As a Board member, one of your duties is to adhere to federal and state laws. Another duty is protecting the association against lawsuits. When rules are lax or inconsistently enforced, it can create a litigation risk or put the association at risk for breaking laws. When in doubt about laws or potential legal risks, ask your association attorney so you can keep your community on the right track.
Respect and Trust
Fairness and honesty are the foundation of trust. Warren Buffet said, “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.” This is so true in a homeowner association. Owners notice when you enforce rules inconsistently. Not every homeowner will agree with every rule, but homeowners are more willing to abide by rules when they are enforced consistently. Create an environment of respect and trust for your community.
HOA Board members have many decisions to make. But, whether or not you should enforce a rule shouldn’t be a decision. Consistency: it’s one of the keys for a happier neighborhood environment.
Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management. The firm is East Tennessee’s only Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC®).
Knoxville, TN: 865-643-8989
Tri-Cities, TN: 423-926-7373