No homeowner likes receiving a notice from the HOA that he or she is somehow in violation of the association’s rules. For that matter, most HOA board members don’t particularly enjoy sending these notices to their neighbors, as they know that it can cause tensions and tempers to escalate quickly. Sadly, though, there will likely always be a need for HOA violation notices; your HOA may try to be lenient when it can, but eventually it becomes necessary to take action against violations of the association bylaws.

With that said, the HOA should always be looking for opportunities to cut back on the violation notices they send out. The simplest way to reduce the need for violation notices is to cut back on violations themselves—but you can’t just snap your fingers and make that happen.

What you can do is work to prioritize communication within your HOA. Clear communication is the single best tool you have for reducing violations, and, thus, violation notices. Making clear the expectations ensures that no homeowner is in the dark about the rules; it also ensures that homeowners understand these rules are serious—not mere guidelines, but actual covenants that all residents are expected to live by.

This shouldn’t just be about explaining what the rules, are, though. Also try to communicate why the rules are in place. The rules in your community should exist for a reason, and their consistent enforcement should ultimately serve to protect property values. If nobody on the board can come up with a good reason why the rule exists, then it may be time to seriously consider changing it.

Finally, the board should also communicate to all community members what the penalties for violation are—not in a threatening way, but just to ensure that there is transparency and consistency in the way violations are addressed. Again, being upfront about expectations is best for everyone—and in the end, it may save you from having to send out so many violation notices.

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