Compliance, Rules, Guidelines and Violations….Oh My!
Trust us, we know, it is so hard to know what to do and what not to do regarding property compliance, rules and guidelines. Also, we know violation notices may be the least-liked aspect of living in our community. However, we want you to know that violation notices truly aren’t meant to be punitive! The reason our rules and regulations are in place is to help our community stay beautiful and to enhance your property value. We understand keeping track of all these guidelines can be overwhelming, so we want to offer tips for handling violation notices.
Considerations for Handling HOA Code Violations:
Idea 1: Understand why the rules exist!
The community rules and regulations are in place to protect homeowner equity. Since not all residents share the same ideas about how our community should look or what constitutes ‘being a good neighbor’, the formal guidelines offer a clear outline of what is expected in the community, and what you can expect from your neighbors.
Idea 2: Why did you receive the notice?
We know a violation notice can make you feel, well, violated! In fact, you probably didn’t realize you were in violation. That is okay! Contact the VCA onsite staff to ask for an explanation. Understanding where the association is coming from can help you comprehend the notice. Remember that the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) is responsible for drafting our community rules, not our management company FirstService Residential (FSR). However, FSR is available to assist the board with decisions.
Idea 3: Remember that notices are not an attack on your character!
The intent of issuing violations is again, not meant to be punitive, and is in no way a personal matter. We understand that oversights or situations can happen so stay in communication to ask questions, correct the issue, or share concerns with the board and staff before facing a penalty.
Idea 4: If there are extenuating circumstances, let the board and staff know!
Appealing to the board is always an option, in writing or in person at a board hearing (held in closed session). If there are any extenuating circumstances, let the board and staff know, so they can work with you. Be prepared for the meeting, bring anything that supports your position. Be optimistic! We all want to resolve issues in the most positive manner.
Idea 5: Familiarize yourself with your governing documents.
Every owner is required by law to be supplied with documents that govern the association they are buying in; however, most new owners probably signed acknowledgment of the documents but never had the opportunity or desire to read them. You can find and review the VCA governing documents, so you are aware of which issues are within the board’s authority to absolve. Read the requirements, how they were violated, the fine schedule, and the remediation process. Understanding the contents of your community’s rules and regulations makes it easier for the discussion to move forward.
We appreciate our community and the commitment to keeping it a beautiful place. We are all in this together, so take these ideas to heart and communicate with your board and the FSR staff. Thank you and be well!