Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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Three ways to enforce HOA rules and regulations

Homeowners associations exist to keep residential areas safe and looking their best. Unfortunately, not all residents of neighborhoods with an HOA agree with all of the rules and regulations, or they may be unaware of specific rules because they failed to read the community covenants, conditions and restrictions declaration given them upon move-in. When a resident fails to follow the CC&Rs, there are three ways HOA boards in Missouri can enforce the rules.

Option number one: give a written warning. A written notice should state the issue, cite or provide a reference to the CC&R that addresses the problem at hand, and provide a set period of time that the resident has to fix the problem. This gives the resident a chance to resolve the issue without any further consequences.

Option number two: impose a fine. Details about potential fines should be listed in the Declaration of CC&Rs so that all residents know what they may expect should they break neighborhood rules. The longer it takes a resident to fix the violation, the higher the fines can be.

Option number three: place a lien on the property. This may seem extreme, but sometimes it becomes necessary. By placing a lien on the property, if the homeowner goes to sell the property, the HOA has the right to seek part of the proceeds to cover any unpaid dues, fines and/or legal fees owed by that specific resident.

An HOA does serve a valuable purpose when it is run properly and fairly. When problems with residents arise, steps can be taken to address the matter quickly and quietly. HOA boards in Missouri who need assistance enforcing their community rules and regulations can turn to legal counsel for assistance in doing so.

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