If you’re really serious about saving water, should your board consider working with a professional residential property management company? Doing so could help improve your water conservation efforts. Yes, utilities are an important aspect of managing a community, and the right management company can help. Management companies can assist with creating water-saving strategies, arrange for energy audits, facilitate better communication with residents, plus manage energy-saving improvements for your HOA.
Remember, conserving water is important and a real concern for everyone living in California. Make sure your residential property management company is doing their best to help your association reduce water usage. Need help to save water in your HOA? Contact Association Management Concepts(AMC Inc.) to begin your energy audit and to receive tips your community needs to begin conserving water, lowering your water bills and improving the California environment for all residents.
Typically noise is the number one problem in most neighbor to neighbor disputes, and the most common nuisance in associations. HOAs receive a lot of complaints from homeowners about the noise coming from their neighbors’ houses. Whether it’s from raucous late-night parties or opposite sleep schedules that result in one neighbor waking up the other or because the neighbor is playing loud music at night, or has a dog that is barking incessantly.
Unfortunately, some homeowners either forget or intentionally disregard the pet policies of their HOA. Often many have not read or reviewed the association’s rules and regulations, contained in the governing documents. Concerned homeowners may then file complaints against the offending homeowner due to a variety of reasons, including improper disposal of pet waste, aggressive pet behaviors, loud and continued barking or leaving their pet unleashed/unsupervised. Nearly 29% of disputes are caused by disregard for animal or pet policies.
Since HOA communities come in all shapes and sizes, parking seems to be an issue in many associations. Not all HOAs can accommodate parking for both homeowners and their guests, and disputes may occur if a particular neighbor and their guests take up most of the parking spaces. Fortunately, most communities are built to offer parking for residents and visitors.
While the quantity of spaces might not be the concern, the distance from your home or the common areas could present a problem. Plus, homeowners who improperly park their vehicles on the street can be an additional problem.
4. Home Exteriors
Sometimes you can have the bad luck of living next to the “ugly duckling” house in your association, someone who doesn’t care about the HOA rules and regulations, the CCRs that help to protect and preserve the property values in the community. Often homeowners will start to complain if they see neighbors homes that have overflowing trash cans, unkept lawns, offensive flags or signs, or even overdue holiday decorations. They might have unapproved exterior paint colors. The fact is most HOA board members or community managers are not professionally trained behavior psychologists, and when a bad neighbor owns a home eviction is not an option. The HOA’s options are limited and sometimes the only option is to contact local social services and law enforcement when necessary.
HOAs regulation of smoking in Condo & Community Associations has become an increasingly difficult problem in some communities. Depending on your HOA, smoking may be banned in common areas and homeowners may also be prohibited from smoking outside their homes, in the yard or patio. Governmental regulations against exposure to second hand smoke continue to rise, and associations struggle with the extent they are required and or permitted to regulate smoking. Without a clear and outright smoking ban contained in either the rules or the CCRs, boards must question their authority to adopt rules against smoking and exposure to smoke. The source of a board’s authority to govern use and occupancy are often governed by the CCRs. For example, the CCRs may provide certain “Use Restrictions”.
6. Illegal Activity
If you notice illegal or criminal activities such as drug dealing and gambling, you should report it immediately. For the sake of the community homeowners should file a complaint if they witness or suspect their neighbor engaging in these types of actions. Harassing or discriminatory behaviors should also be reported.
Strategies to Handle HOA Complaints
In many cases associations are not always involved when it comes to HOA issues and complaints against neighbors. However, it is the association’s responsibility to maintain peace and order within the HOA community. In an effort to maintain a peaceful environment, and tamp down disruptive and unpleasant activity, the board must strictly enforce rules and regulations.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate neighbor to neighbor disputes, however there are effective ways to handle HOA complaints in your community.
- Enforce HOA Rules Strictly and Uniformly;
- Address HOA Complaints Promptly;
- Send a Notice of Violation to Offending Homeowners;
- Offer to Mediate Between Homeowners;
- Know When to Step In;
- Consult Your HOA Manager and Attorney.
Studies show, only 15% of homeowners notified the association or management company, concerning any issues. The highest percentage, 49 %, addressed the issue directly with the neighbor, and 27% called law enforcement. Overall 86% said they took some type of action. The good news here, 40 % of people said the matter was mutually settled without third-party intervention.
Dealing with complaints helps to protect the entire HOA community. Even though a dispute may be between neighbors, there is always a chance, things escalate and affect the entire association. To maintain peace and order within the community, board members should try to address HOA complaints as quickly as possible. It’s important to enforce the rules fairly and consistently, to ensure homeowners will learn to comply and respect the rules in place for the overall harmony in the community, and hopefully reduce nuisances in your HOA.
Is your community dealing with some of these issues? Consider the advantages of hiring a professional HOA management company like AMC Inc. (Association Management Concepts). We’ll work with you to resolve and help settle disputes of any kind, even if you’re a self-managed association. Contact us to learn more.
Note: The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced survey of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.