Dealing with violations is an essential part of HOA management, and depending on the size of the community, it can be quite a tedious task. This is especially the case if you’re recording and updating violations manually. Developing a system and utilizing the tools and technology available today can simplify the entire process and make this necessary task much more manageable. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Know your rules inside and out.
You can’t expect your HOA residents to know and adhere to the rules and bylaws if you aren’t an expert in them yourself. Take the time to study your HOA’s governing documents and be sure to stay on top of any changes that are made from time to time. You may not be able to commit every single rule and regulation to memory, but you should at least be familiar enough with them that you’ll know where to look when guidance is needed.
Establish a formal system.
Without a documented strategy for how to handle HOA violations, you’ll be working much harder than is necessary to stay on top of everything. You’ll also risk missing violations, delaying the resolution of issues and ultimately annoying residents who are abiding by the rules. As such, the violation process should be consistent and predictable. An owner should know, for instance, that if he or she doesn’t pick up after their dog, a notice and potential predetermined fine will follow.
Follow a predefined pattern.
In most cases, HOA management will go through multiple steps in the event of a violation. This is fair and to be expected by residents. For example, you wouldn’t skip straight to a court case on someone’s first offense. Conversely, if you give too many chances, you will lose authority and risk unrest within the community. There should be a clearly defined workflow for how violations are handled for a first offense, second offense and so forth.
Use technology to streamline your efforts.
Once you’ve established the rules, regulations and consequences and developed a system for dealing with violations, the next step is to let technology do some of the heavy lifting. HOA management software can help by automating many of the tedious steps of the violation management process, freeing you up to focus on other pressing matters. It’s also a great tool for tracking and documenting violations so you’ll always have a central place to reference information whenever it’s needed.
Take measures to reduce and prevent violations.
They say the best defense is a good offense. If you really want to make your job as an HOA manager easier, you should take as many measures as possible to help prevent violations from occurring in the first place. This requires proactive steps, like improving communication, being fair and flexible, and being prompt and responsive. Not only will this reduce your workload from a violation management perspective, but it will also result in a more peaceful, conflict-free community.