Enforcement Procedures In A Homeowners Association

One of the duties of the Board of Directors (Board) in a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is to ensure that the HOA members adhere to the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs).  CC&Rs are essentially promises made by a prospective purchaser as a condition of purchasing the land in question.  They are designed to govern the use and appearance of the HOA property. When a member violates one of the CCR&Rs, the Board is authorized to enforce the penalties outlined in the governing documents.

Purpose of CC&Rs   

HOAs enforce CC&Rs that are primarily designed to restrict the use and maintenance of the property.  Such enforcement helps to maintain property values in the HOA. HOAs establish architectural and maintenance restrictions on the property to achieve a standard appearance throughout the association. The implementation of use restrictions limit members to using their property for certain pre-defined purposes. Typical violations of architectural restrictions include making alterations to the physical appearance of the property without approval. Use restriction violations include engaging in behavior that may disturb the quiet enjoyment of neighbors, such as owning a pet when pets are prohibited or parking in violation of parking rules.

Enforcement Procedures for CC&R Violations

Fines. One of the most common penalties for the violation of a CC&R is the imposition of fines. Arizona law provides that a fine can be levied so long as the HOA complies with the following restrictions: (1) the fine must be reasonable; (2) the fine can be imposed only after notice is given and the member has an opportunity to have a hearing; and (3) the member must receive information about how the fine will be collected and enforced.

Self-help. The HOA may choose to correct the violation of the covenant on its own without resorting to outside sources, such as the court system. Self-help is an option only when it is expressly permitted in the governing documents and when the HOA explicitly follows the procedures for doing so. Self-help is disfavored in some communities because of the potential to breach the peace.

Injunctive relief.  The HOA may seek injunctive relief by petitioning the court to order compliance of the CC&R by the member in violation. Because injunctive relief requires an order from the court, it is usually deemed a last resort after other internal measures have failed.

Chernoff Law handles business and real estate litigation matters throughout Arizona. Contact us by calling 480-719-7307 to discuss your legal matter.