Gotta Beef with Your HOA?

If you live in an HOA and you have a beef with your homeowner’s association, your first course of action is to discuss the matter with your Board.  Your association is made up of all the property owners and is governed by Board members who were elected to represent all homeowners.  The Board, then, makes decisions on behalf of the association and ensures that everyone follow a legally binding set of rules called the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs). 

Your first step is to request a meeting with the Board and present facts about why you believe the HOA is required to enforce or review a particular rule.  As with any governing body or group, gather as much detail as possible and review the language in your governing documents.  If necessary, take photos, record your observations or even document the events to help you provide your Board with relevant facts.

Bring to the meeting a copy of the applicable provisions from your CCRs. For example, in the case of a neighbor parking their recreational vehicle in the street when RVs are not permitted or when a neighbor neglects to care for their yard, make a copy of the specific provision, and bring these items to the HOA meeting.

It’s always possible the Board will agree with you and enforce the rule as you request. The Board can take steps to attempt to get the offending homeowner to comply, such as sending a written notification of a violation.  However, the power in your Board’s ability to enforce rules is reflected in how well written are the governing documents.  In many cases, conflicts arise between neighbors and the HOA when sub-contractors are hired or rouge association managers who work independently to help with compliance.  A good association manager is worth their weight as proven experience in governing associations and resolving homeowner conflict can be an invaluable, especially if an HOA has a culture of bad violators.

Another option to pursue if you hit a road block is to seek out the advice of a professional manager.  We recommend MGM Association Management.  MGM has served HOAs for the past 20 years and over those years, has developed a strong reputation for interpreting CCRs; are able to change the culture of communities, so that homeowners comply with their CCRs; and with their a deep understanding of community governance are able to resolve all issues, no matter how complex. 

Be sure to keep records of any such meetings with the HOA. These could prove useful in the event the HOA does not agree with your requests, and you decide to take action against the HOA later.

If you want more information, contact MGM who can guide you and recommend a course of action.  They offer free monthly management training that can help at (208) 846-9189 or review their website,