In theory, people know all about the HOA rules when they buy a house. They’re agreeing to follow those rules and pay the extra money every month in exchange for everything the HOA provides, such as community amenities and general neighborhood services.
In reality, though, they often don’t realize what it will really mean to abide by those same rules. They may start off well and then slowly start ignoring regulations. How can an HOA get people to follow the rules? Here are a few tips that can help:
- Start by assuming that they just do not know the rule. Honest mistakes happen. Do what you can to increase awareness of the rules and ensure that everyone is on the same page. That way, if they do break the rules in the future, you know it’s intentional.
- Talk about the reasons for the rules, not just the rules themselves. When people understand why a rule exists, they’re more likely to follow it.
- Avoid petty, minor rules. If people are resentful of what they see as useless rules, they’re more likely to break larger ones, too.
- Give the people a say in the process. If everyone seems to be against a particular rule, consider whether or not it’s actually good for the community.
- Consistently reinforce regulations. If you let things slip for one person, they’ll start to slip for everyone.
- Explain the ramifications of a violation. Make sure all homeowners know what is at stake.
These six tips can definitely help, but HOAs experience violations and disputes all the time. If this happens to you, be sure you know your legal options. It may be necessary to speak to an experienced attorney.