Nobody likes to receive violation letters but if you live in an HOA, it is a fact of life and you will probably receive one in your lifetime. Did you know that sending violations is not the highlight of your community management company’s job either? It is something that the management company is contractually obligated to do. When buying a home in a community governed by CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), homeowners agree to read and abide by the governing documents for the community. When there is an infraction of those documents, a letter is sent.
I would like to take a moment to break down some of the most common violations sent and how to avoid receiving them.
If a trash or recycling bin is left out where it is visible on a non-trash day, it usually will receive a violation. While there are always exceptions, typically trash/recycle bins can be placed out at the curb the night before pick-up and must be returned to a secured area the day of pick-up. If you know you are going to be out of town, or have an issue that will prevent you from keeping this time frame? Contact your community manager or your management company’s compliance department. They would be happy to place a note on your account to prevent the letter from being sent.
Let’s face it. Weeds are an annoyance to everyone! We don’t like the looks of them, and we certainly do not like the job of picking them. Every spring they will begin to emerge in every community. Our rule of thumb is to send a letter when the weeds in the yard could fill a grocery bag. If weeds are not addressed when they first pop up, they can overtake a yard quickly. Since we only inspect once every couple of weeks, we want to be sure to get the weeds in the beginning, and before your neighbor complains about your yard. To help combat weeds from even starting, there are several pest control companies in the valley that will spray the yard and provide a guarantee that you will not have any weeds for 6 months or they will come back out and spray for free. It is a small price to pay to ensure no weed letters.
Not all communities have street parking regulations. In Arizona, any community built after 2014 cannot regulate on-street parking. For the communities that do have parking regulations, these were included in your governing documents for a variety of reasons. The streets may be very narrow. When vehicles are parked on both sides of the street, vehicles are not able to pass easily down the street. Parked vehicles also provide cover for small children that may be playing in the neighborhood. Statistically, homes in neighborhoods with fewer vehicles on the street actually sell homes faster and for a higher price.
For many homeowners, the only time they think about painting the exterior is when they receive a compliance notice. Due to the extreme heat and constant sun, homes in Arizona need to be painted at least every 5 –7 years. We know, at Thrive, that house painting is a big-ticket item and not everyone has the money available. When we send a letter, we provide 6 months, after the initial letter is sent, to paint the home. During that six months, an architectural application should be submitted for approval to the Architectural Committee (if required by your documents). If you are unable to meet the deadline, call your community manager and ask for additional time. We usually can provide an extension of 3-6 months if necessary.