Many homeowners in Encinitas are part of a newly developed suburban community or planned unit development, meaning that they may be a member of a Homeowner Association (HOA). According to the Community Associations Institute (CAI), over 63 Million Americans are members of a HOA.
Here are some basics about HOAs in Encinitas:
HOAs are a volunteer group of neighbors who manage common areas and community property, creating their own covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Typically covering:
- Resident Behavior – i.e. no glass containers around the pool
- Architecture – i.e. no fences higher than 7 feet or plastic lawn ornaments
- Common Responsibilities – i.e. fee schedules and fines for no-compliance on HOA’s rules
Some HOAs also handle property management and overall maintenance. For example, because you pay your HOA fees, you don’t have to worry about cutting your properties’ lawn or if there is a problem with plumbing, the HOA has a few maintenance workers ready to take care of problems.
Sometimes a HOA can impose rules that homeowners can believe to be invasive, silly, or elitist. One specific example is in 2014, a Myrtle Beach association decided homeowners could only have two pets. The couple who lived in a home apart of said association had three dogs for the past 14 years were threatened with a $100/day fine unless they got rid of one of their dogs.
Don’t Agree with HOA Rules?
If you for some reason disagree with the rules created by your HOA, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP PAYING YOUR DUES.
Some HOAs have broad legal powers to collect fines and fees as well as regulate activities. Even some townships can even enforce fees because your garbage can isn’t in the correct place. Either way, the last thing you would want to happen is the HOA to turn to small claims court of file a lien against your property.
If you do have a problem, call the HOA and see if a board member can find out if there is a leeway/exception to a new or past rule. Writing a written request for variance using the appropriate HOA form in your CC&R documents may result in you having permission to be an exception to a new or past rule. Also, you can suggest a compromise and find out if the board of the HOA and you can find common ground.
If you really want to make changes to rules and regulations, become a part of your HOA by becoming a board member. Tips and basic guidelines for becoming a part of your HOA in Encinitas will have to be discussed in another blog.