Even though HOA rules are typically created when the community is originally built, it is important for the board of directors of every HOA to periodically reevaluate which policies should be added to improve the quality of life within the neighborhood. If your HOA board of directors is considering what new policies should be added to the community, it is wise to review the information listed below:
Dispute Resolution & Complaint Policy
The dispute resolution and complaint policy required for HOAs can often cause a great deal of confusion for residents. HOAs need to make clear how residents can complain about issues that arise within the community. HOAs also need to make clear how a dispute resolution process would work if there was a dispute between community members or between community members and the HOA. Failure to set these policies up in the community can cause unnecessary disputes that could have been avoided otherwise.
There has been a great deal of legislation passed both at the federal and state level about emails and what policies organizations need to have for emails. It is wise for your HOA board of directors to seek outside advice about email policies and which potential email policies should be implemented into the particular strategy of your HOA. By taking the time to put these protocols in place, you may be shielding your HOA from legal liability later on.
Enforcement Due Process Policy & Procedures
It is quite common for HOA regulations to be violated by residents. Some of these violations are intentional and others are merely from not being properly informed by the HOA. HOAs need to have clear policies about how enforcement will work if a resident violates one of their regulations. By making these policies clear to both new and existing residents, HOAs will have far less confusion and disputes with the residents in their communities.
Regulations for Meetings
HOA board meetings can be quite difficult if not all members are in agreement or have different work ethics. Each HOA board should establish regulations for how long these meetings should take and how much time should be spent on each subject in the interest of productivity. If separate meetings are held that do include residents, rules need to be established for those meetings as well. Having clear protocols for meetings will boost morale in the community across the board.
Policies Regarding Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disputes
There will be times where neighbors will get into disputes. Perhaps one neighbor will not cut down their tree that is blocking the other neighbor’s view or a neighbor tries to build a guest house that infringes on another’s the property line. These issues come up periodically and HOAs need to be prepared to be the final voice of authority on neighbor-to-neighbor disputes in order to avoid hostile conflicts amongst residents that could hamper the community atmosphere. HOA board members need to think carefully about the best strategy that matches the size of their community.
Even though pets are sought out by many residents, HOAs need to evaluate a consistent pet policy that has appeal for neighbors that may not want pets. By establishing areas where pets are allowed to be and where they are not permitted, HOAs enable residents who may have allergies or who do not want to be around animals the ability to have a pet-free environment. Some HOAs will limit the size of the pet that is permitted. Others will have noise stipulations that residents who have pets will be responsible for. HOAs that have the best results will have a consistent pet policy that is clearly communicated amongst their existing residents and any new resident that joins the community.
Violation & Fine Policy
One area that HOAs do not like to manage is how to fine their residents if they have a violation. Fines are sensitive since they do cause residents to get angry. It is important for HOAs to establish clear policies about how violations and fines will be charged. If residents are warned beforehand, it is much easier to reference a regulation to an angry resident than to charge a fee without any regulation to support it. HOAs that plan this out ahead of time has far fewer disputes with their residents than those that do not.
Towing is another issue that can get complicated, particularly around the holidays. It is beneficial to have a clear policy about towing with signage around the community as well. Some HOAs have had success with parking stickers or badges that designate if a vehicle is parked in the proper part of the community. If residents are made aware of the rules, they will be able to give their friends and relatives the right recommendations to avoid getting towed.
Drones are a recent invention that has caused a great deal of disruption in neighborhoods. Even though drones have become a popular toy for children to play with, they need to be controlled in communities to avoid excessive noise or invasion of privacy. Your HOA should be considering how to protect residents from the various invasions to privacy that drones cause so that residents have a clear understanding of how and when they can be used within the community.
Short-Term Rental Policy
Now that many websites offer property owners the chance to rent their properties, it can cause too many unfamiliar guests in the community. For HOAs that are in charge of condominiums, it is useful for the board of directors to decide what the exact policy is and then make it clear to residents what the expectations are to avoid an upset in the community.
How HOAManagement.com Can Help
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