What is trespassing in an HOA community?According to the HOA rules, only the members of the HOA are allowed to enter another person’s property. And that too in the conditions of emergencies or to perform mandatory repairs or maintenance. When an HOA member enters the property of another person before informing them or before the approval of their permission, it is called trespassing. It is required from the side of the HOA to give sufficient prior notice to the homeowner to enter the homeowner’s property. The only exception is in the case of emergencies. For instance – If someone from the HOA notices smoke coming from inside a unit, taking action and entering the property or calling emergency services would be a reasonable course of action.
How to deal with trespassers in a HOA Managed Property
Foster Community Awareness.Every HOA community has its own rules and regulations. These rules and regulations include the guidelines related to maintaining the property, attending meetings, and paying dues. Informing the community about all such regulations leads to community awareness, which in turn results in dealing with the trespassers in an effective manner. It promotes the culture of vigilant neighbors so that the residents feel encouraged to report any suspicious activity promptly.
Issue WarningsWhen you notice the trespassing incident, issue a formal warning to the individual involved as soon as possible. You must include the specific violation in the warning, the consequences of the trespassing, and the action you want your HOA to take. A warning letter is physical proof of an initial attempt to settle the problem on good terms. For instance – If you notice any non-resident repeatedly using the gym of the community without any proper authorization, you can inform the HOA, and the HOA can issue a warning letter to that individual, giving him the explanation that it violates the rules of the community and the HOA might take further action against them if it continues.
Document IncidentsWhen the incident of trespassing on HOA property aggravates or becomes a continuing problem, you need to have accurate records. Prepare the document of every incident in detail, including time, detail, and photographs of the trespasser. When it comes to taking legal action, these essential documents will prove to be invaluable.
Engage Law EnforcementThe HOA Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) contains provisions for the HOA Board’s authority to enter a homeowner’s property. The HOA must find out the points related to their authority to enter someone’s property and take the necessary measures. Besides, knowing the state laws is also crucial. And just because these regulations allow the HOA to enter the homeowner’s property, it doesn’t imply that they can install anything without permission. Also, keep in mind that whenever there are any clashes between the CC&Rs and State laws, it is the state laws that win.
Legal Consideration For Trespassing In An HOAIf HOA trespassing is severe, the HOA must obtain a court order. Ensure that you have done everything in your capability to solve the issue before you decide to go for this option. Usually, in such cases, HOA agrees to pay fines to the members where they have trespassed. Fines save you from taking any legal action further. Otherwise, you know that you can always get assistance from legal counsel. When legal counsel sends a letter to HOA to correct the violation, it is enough to spur them to action.
What if an HOA enters a homeowner’s property?As we have discussed, how to keep trespassers off your property, but what if an HOA itself enters the homeowners’ property without taking their permission? In such cases, you can review the governing documents, contact the HOA board, or seek legal advice from an experienced attorney in HOA-related matters.
Final WordsBelieve it or not, trespassing incidents in an HOA community are likely to disrupt the peace and security of the residents. So, address such issues promptly by considering all the elements of rights and responsibilities of both homeowners and the HOA. Maintain a safe living environment with the help of fostering awareness in the community, documenting incidents, and issuing warnings wherever necessary to keep the trespassers at bay. Consequently, you will handle the trespassing incidents effectively.
Heywood Community Management specializes in homeowners' association (HOA) management in Arizona and surrounding areas such as Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and more. Heywood HOA Management has actively been a part of Arizona's Real Estate market since 1933. With a single focus on community association management, Heywood Community Management is dedicating its resources to raising the community management standard of quality.
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