Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) are a set of rules HOAs use to define what a homeowner can or cannot do. CC&Rs are implemented to maintain a fair standard of living across a community through conformity. 76% of people say that CC&Rs protect and enhance property value. HOAs can enforce CC&Rs by penalizing homeowners in violation using fines, forced compliance, liens, and lawsuits.
An increase in violations can be problematic for property managers and HOAs. As they occur more frequently, CC&Rs can become costly to enforce, because processing infractions require more resources and time.
Here are 4 ways the number of violations in a community can be reduced.
Communicate more with homeowners. If CC&Rs are changing, it’s vital that every homeowner is made aware to reduce the chance that they are unknowingly violating a rule. It’s also helpful to distribute friendly reminders of commonly violated rules.
With some governing documents reaching up to 100 pages, they can be a lot to take in so, some HOAs assign a welcome committee to help new homeowners get up to speed. You can reduce violations by giving new homeowners a grace period before you begin penalizing them for not complying with CC&Rs.
An HOA can show commitment to their rules by consistently enforcing CC&Rs and taking action against violations. This sends a clear message that the rules matter and that CC&Rs must be upheld by homeowners. The most effective and sustainable way to enforce these rules is for property managers to use violations management software to streamline warnings and manage fines, among other penalties. Property managers should be documenting violations fairly and consistently. It’s helpful to keep track of repeat offenders, so if a homeowner commits several violations, the appropriate consequences can be determined.
Studies have shown CC&Rs that are too restrictive can lead to unhappy communities, which can cause homeowners to be dissatisfied, rebel, and move out. To avoid the negative impact of restrictive CC&Rs, boards should regularly review CC&Rs to ensure they are serving their intended purpose. As times change, it’s important that the rules of a community still make sense. If CC&Rs are outdated it may be unfair to ask homeowners to follow them. Reviewing your HOAs rules also helps to make sure they’re explained clearly in writing to guarantee homeowners have a thorough understanding of what is expected of them.
If homeowners are in violation of a community rule, it’s important for the well-being of the relationship that a property manager or member of the board is able to explain how the homeowner is in violation, and why that rule exists. Understanding the purpose of CC&Rs will increase likelihood of homeowners following the rules. It’s also necessary to clearly explain the penalties of violations to all homeowners. Conveying the consequences in a non-confrontational manner will act as a deterrent for future violations.
Violations can be a hassle for boards, property managers, and homeowners. By reducing the frequency and volume of violations, property managers will save time and community relationships will improve.