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Subject: Restriction Enforcement Letters
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Author Messages
LauraG
(Louisiana)

Posts:1


09/07/2005 11:17 AM  
I am the HOA president in our neighborhood and new to HOAtalk. I am wondering if any of you have sample letters that you have sent out when someone was in violation of an enforcement. I have received complaints and need to send out letters to these people, but I am unsure of how to word the letters and of how much "power" we as the HOA have. Any help you could provide me would be much appreciated.

Laura G
AudreyB
(Florida)

Posts:104


09/07/2005 1:13 PM  
Hi Laura,

Hope this will be a good guide for you.

On your HOA letter head state the following:
Name and address of the homeowner's in violation
Date
Subject: Deed Restriction Violation - First Notice - State what the violation is example Yard Needs Mowing

Residents:
A complaint has been received regarding your property (state what is wrong with the property)that your yard needs mowing. A check of the above location to confirm that indeed (what is wrong again with the property) mowing of your yard, is needed was made and found to be a valid complaint at this time.

As per Deed Restriction Section (what number)10, The title "Maintenance Assessemnt", number of paragraph 8, page 12, and carefully quote it exactly as it is written: "Dwelling and property will have a neat outwardly appearance ..."

In accordance with our Deed Restrictons, it is required to send this notice and as required please contact me at the above address with a resolution to this problem within 15 days of this notice. This type of contact with our homeowners is not taken lightly but is required by our guidelines.

Sincerely,

President of HOA

I wish you good luck,
AudreyB
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


09/10/2005 10:30 AM  
A sample of our basic letter (changes with violation- second notice substantially the same)Most of what is included is specified by our Covenants. I wrote it myself- feel free to plagiarize.

(printed on our letterhead with address, etc.)

June 7, 2005

Via USPS Certified Postal Mail
And First Class Mail

Eric, Scott, and Kimberly Adams
Your Street
Anytown, IL 99999


Dear Adams Family,
We have received a homeowner complaint regarding the boat and trailer which are currently being stored on your driveway. Your neighbors consider this a violation of the declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for (Association Name). This Board agrees with this opinion and we are asking that you please permanently remove the trailer from your driveway within 72 hours of receipt of this letter.
Every homeowner in (Association Name) is governed by the same set of rules- The Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for (Association Name). A full text of this can be obtained on request by writing (Association Name), PO Box XXXX, Anytown IL 99999 or by download at our website (association website).
However, Article I Section 4 states in part “ ….no camping trailer, boat, mobile home, or other vehicle of any type whatsoever shall be parked, stored or left unattended, permanently or temporarily, on any lots, except in the garages of the lots”
Please consider this letter as your formal Notice of Covenants Violation according to Article III, Section 8 of the Covenants. You have the right to appear before the (Association Name) Board of Directors regarding this matter if you so choose.
However, if the Board determines that a violation of the covenants has continued which has not been remedied as specified, you will then have a stated period of time to remedy the situation before the Board assesses a reasonable fine not to exceed $50 per day. Such fines may include all costs to rectify the situation, including but not limited to, any legal fees incurred by the Board of Directors.

We are confident that this matter will be resolved in a timely manner and that no further action will be necessary.



(Association Name)
Association Board of Directors



By: ____________________________
Lisa S.
Vice President
KathyS
(California)

Posts:145


09/10/2005 5:16 PM  
I suggest leaving the "we have received a complaint" "your neighbor has complained" sentence out of any letter replacing it with "on a recent inspection of your property by the management company (or Board of Directors).

The letter does not have to specify how anyone found out about the violation and will lesson the chance of a member coming to a Board meeting demading answers to which neighbor (or busybody) complained.
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


09/11/2005 1:05 PM  
In many cases in our association, it is quite obviously a neighbor complaint. We have 300 single family homes and 5 volunteer Board members. We do not have a management company, and we don't drive around 'policing' properties for violations. Many are in backyards where we would be trespassing anyway.

We do have a reputation in our community for being fair, and for listening to complaints and investigating them. We as a Board initiate a violation process if we see there is an obvious problem. But in most cases the origin is a 'neighbor'. The reason we remain approachable is that it is known that complainants may remain anonymous. No one wants a 'neighbor war'to start over a barking dog, which is why they defer to us. However, we as a Board are neighbors as well. We do not want our neighbors to think that every complaint that occurs is merely the whim of the Board. If it were, we would have to move.

We have not had any problems with using the letter over the past year. Most people are receptive and correct the problem.

Use or change the letter as you wish.

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4862


11/18/2005 1:59 PM  
I realize homeowners feel "my home is my castle and I do not want to ask approval or comply with someone's personal preference"; I follow the "Golden Rule", and I get 100% compliance with no legal costs. Here are the procedures I use:

The Community is monitored weekly by the Management Company for Covenant and Rules compliance. Owners can also report problems to the Managing Agent and may request anonymity. The Agent will investigate and shall photograph potential violations. A Demand letter will be sent to the Owner advising of the alleged violation, the controlling regulation, a time limit for correction (often 10 days), and the right of the Owner to request a Hearing before the Board of Directors to challenge the cited violation.

To dispute a cited violation the Owner shall promptly submit a written request for a Hearing. Upon receipt of such a request, a Board of Directors meeting will be scheduled and arguments heard. The Owner shall be mailed a Notice of the Hearing date, time, alleged violation, and the proposed sanction if a violation is confirmed and is not corrected within a revised timeframe which will be determined by the Board. The Owner will be allowed to present a statement, evidence, and witnesses to support their position. After the Hearing the owner will be advised in writing of the Board's decision.

When a violation is not corrected within the specified time limit, an initial fine of $50.00 is assessed. If a violation is not corrected, subsequent citations may be issued and the fine will be doubled compared to the previous Demand letter. If necessary the Association shall get a court order to correct the violation and effect corrections required. The owner’s property shall be assessed for all costs involved. This will include, but is not limited to, the costs to correct the violation, fines, fees, attorney fees and court costs.

Roger
TeriM
(California)

Posts:3


12/01/2005 11:35 AM  
Posted By LisaS on 09/10/2005 10:30 AM

A sample of our basic letter (changes with violation- second notice substantially the same)Most of what is included is specified by our Covenants. I wrote it myself- feel free to plagiarize.

(printed on our letterhead with address, etc.)

June 7, 2005

Via USPS Certified Postal Mail
And First Class Mail

Eric, Scott, and Kimberly Adams
Your Street
Anytown, IL 99999


Dear Adams Family,
We have received a homeowner complaint regarding the boat and trailer which are currently being stored on your driveway. Your neighbors consider this a violation of the declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for (Association Name). This Board agrees with this opinion and we are asking that you please permanently remove the trailer from your driveway within 72 hours of receipt of this letter.
Every homeowner in (Association Name) is governed by the same set of rules- The Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for (Association Name). A full text of this can be obtained on request by writing (Association Name), PO Box XXXX, Anytown IL 99999 or by download at our website (association website).
However, Article I Section 4 states in part “ ….no camping trailer, boat, mobile home, or other vehicle of any type whatsoever shall be parked, stored or left unattended, permanently or temporarily, on any lots, except in the garages of the lots”
Please consider this letter as your formal Notice of Covenants Violation according to Article III, Section 8 of the Covenants. You have the right to appear before the (Association Name) Board of Directors regarding this matter if you so choose.
However, if the Board determines that a violation of the covenants has continued which has not been remedied as specified, you will then have a stated period of time to remedy the situation before the Board assesses a reasonable fine not to exceed $50 per day. Such fines may include all costs to rectify the situation, including but not limited to, any legal fees incurred by the Board of Directors.

We are confident that this matter will be resolved in a timely manner and that no further action will be necessary.



(Association Name)
Association Board of Directors



By: ____________________________
Lisa S.
Vice President


JulieA
(Tennessee)

Posts:2


01/24/2006 4:30 PM  
Do your Covenants and By-Laws outline when fines can be assessed. Ours don't specifically indicate when a fine can be assessed, so I am thinking (since it is silent) we can assess as we see fit.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4862


01/24/2006 7:31 PM  
JulieA, your Board can establish policies and procedures for assessing a fine. These need to be provided to all homeowners prior to taking any action. Following is an example:

Rules and Regulations on Enforcement of Covenants and Rules

In order to maintain property values, safety, and quality of life the Association enforces restrictions itemized in the Declaration (Covenants), Bylaws, and the Rules and Regulations (sometimes called Policies and Procedures). This may be referred to as Covenant enforcement, or Covenant control, or Covenant compliance.

The Property is monitored weekly by the Management Company for Covenant compliance. Owners can also report problems to the Managing Agent and may request anonymity. The Agent will investigate and shall photograph potential violations. A Demand letter will be sent to the Owner advising of the alleged violation, the controlling regulation, a time limit for correction (typically 10 days), and the right of the Owner to request a Hearing before the Board of Directors to challenge the cited violation.

To dispute a cited violation the Owner shall promptly submit a written request for a Hearing. Upon receipt of such a request, a Board of Directors meeting will be scheduled and arguments heard. The Owner shall be mailed a Notice of the Hearing date, time, alleged violation, and the proposed sanction if a violation is confirmed and is not corrected within a revised timeframe which will be determined by the Board. The Owner will be allowed to present a statement, evidence, and witnesses to support their position. After the Hearing the owner will be advised in writing of the Board's decision.

When a violation is not corrected within the specified time limit, an initial fine of $50.00 is assessed. If a violation is not corrected, subsequent citations may be issued and the fine will be doubled compared to the previous Demand letter. If necessary the Association shall get a court order to correct the violation and effect corrections required. The owner’s property shall be assessed for all costs involved. This will include, but is not limited to, the costs to correct the violation, fines, fees, attorney fees and court costs.
JulieA
(Tennessee)

Posts:2


01/25/2006 7:18 PM  
Thanks RogerB
Can a lien be placed on the property for the fines assessed? Our Covenant only mentions the annual dues, assessments for capital improvements, and expenses for lot maintenance becoming liens upon the property.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4862


01/25/2006 8:24 PM  
Julie, based on what you have stated I would guess a lien is not the best approach. There are other effective ways to ENCOURAGE payment. Such as when it is better to pay now then to incur future major costs
JaimeW
(North Carolina)

Posts:24


01/26/2006 10:09 AM  
This is a violation policy that was written by an Attorney in North Carolina:



SAMPLE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
VIOLATION POLICY


The following will be the Homeowners Association Violation Policy. This policy has been written within the guidelines of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the Homeowners Association and the laws in the State of North Carolina. This policy will be enforced for the purpose of protecting the integrity, value and desirability of the lots, lot owners and any and all parties having the right, title or interest in such lots in the subdivision of ____________________. This violation policy will be enforced effective ________________________.

Any party having any right, title or interest in the subdivision of (hereafter “homeowner”) is required by the laws of the State of North Carolina to abide by the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Homeowners Association Subdivision registered in the State of North Carolina, County of ____________. If at any time any of the aforesaid parties is in violation of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for __________________ Homeowners Association, the following procedures will go into effect:

STEP 1 – The homeowner in violation will receive written notice of the violation with a specified period of time to comply. If the homeowner is unable to cure the violation within the specified time period, he/she is required to respond in writing within that specified time period to the Board of Directors/ Management Company to either work out a resolution or request a hearing. If the Board of Directors/ Management Company have not received a response from the homeowner or have not been able to come to a resolution within the specified period of time. Step 2 will go into effect.

STEP 2 – The Board of Directors will appoint an ad judicatory panel who will set a hearing. The ad judicatory panel will determine if the lot owner is in violation of the Restrictive Covenants. If it is found that the lot owner is in violation of the Restrictive Covenants, then the ad judicatory panel will determine if the lot owner should be fined or if planned community privileges or services should be suspended pursuant to the powers granted to the association in G.S 47E-3-102(11) and (12). If the Board of Directors fails to appoint an ad judicatory panel, hearing will be held before the Board of Directors. The lot owner charged shall be given written notice of the charge and the hearing date and time with said notice being mailed at least 15 days prior to the hearing. At the hearing, the homeowner will be given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence. Written notice of the final decision of the panel will be mailed to the homeowner. A grace period of 10 days from the mailing of this letter will be given before the actual imposition of the fine and or suspension to give the homeowner the opportunity to cure the violation. If it is decided that a fine should be imposed, a reasonable fine, up to $150.00 per day may be imposed for the violation without further hearing. If it is decided a suspension from planned community privileges or services should be imposed, it may take place without further hearing until the violation or delinquency is cured. Such fines shall be assessments secured by the liens under G.S. 47E-3-116 and the ____________________ Homeowners Association Delinquency Policy.

STEP 3 – If the homeowner is still in violation after Steps 1 and 2 and no resolutions have been made between the homeowner and the Board of Directors/ Management Company, of the Homeowners Association, the case will be turned over to an attorney to resolve or begin lien, foreclosure proceedings and possible further legal action. While Step 3 takes place the homeowner will continue to be charged the daily fines imposed from Step 2. Once the matter has been turned over to the attorney the homeowner in violation will be responsible for all reasonable attorneys fees as is allowed in G.S. 47E-3-120 and the ________________________ Homeowners Association Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions in addition to all previous assessments, interest, fees, costs or fines incurred.
JaimeW
(North Carolina)

Posts:24


01/26/2006 12:27 PM  
The following is a letter we use. It says notice and non-compliance rather than violation. It seems to get good response in getting the issue resolved.


*** NOTICE ***

Date: __________________________

Address: __________________________



Dear Homeowner,

____________________ Association Management on behalf of the Sample HOA Board of Directors (BOD) has been requested to notify you that there are some issues on your property that are in non-compliance. Any items identified by the Board of Directors that are in non-compliance with the governing documents of the Association’s property are noted.

The following item(s) marked below were noted to be corrected:

Cut Grass Garbage Can Satellite Dish
Weed-eat Trash from Yard Driveway Stains
Edge Mailbox Parked Car on Grass
Trim Shrubs Repair Rotten Wood on House and Paint

Remove Grass/Weeds from cracks:  Driveway  Flowerbeds  Around Mailboxes Natural Areas

Other _________________________________________________________
Other _________________________________________________________

Explanation: Trash can must be stored so as not to be visible from the street.

Please correct the above issue(s) by ________________ to avoid further action by the Sample HOA in accordance with governing documents Sample HOA, and Chapter 47F of the North Carolina Planned Community Act. All governing Regulations, as they apply to Homeowners Association are designed to help insure the right of enjoyment and to protect the investment of all homeowners.

If the item(s) above have already been corrected, please disregard this notice.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter. Should you have any questions, please contact us at _______________________.

Sincerely,

Property Manager
For Sample HOA
MercedesB
(Texas)

Posts:7


01/30/2006 9:55 AM  
Here is how this situation is usually handled in our very large (3500 rooftops) community association: Before sending out a letter, the Rules Compliance director here phones owners who are in violation and gives them a very friendly call to alert them about the situation. It serves as a "heads-up."

In most cases, a follow-up letter is not needed. Most owners, pleased about the personal touch and relieved not to get a letter, comply quickly. Of course, non-responsive owners do get a series of letters, then an opportunity to appeal to the Board, and so on.

In our case, when we first moved into this community, we were having some major remodeling done. In our ignorance we allowed the contractor to place his sign on our front yard. Within days, the contractor received a very nice call from the Compliance Director, and he immediately removed the sign. We would not even have known about this if the contractor hadn't said anything. Even he had to admit that rules enforcement in our well-known community was handled very well.
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