The primary purpose of a homeowner association (HOA) is to preserve the quality of a community and the property values of the homes within it. By establishing certain standards for home maintenance and resident behavior, HOAs can help eliminate certain known risks for property value loss.
Unfortunately, some property owners will do whatever they want, despite the agreement they signed, before moving into their property. They might install raised vegetable garden beds in the front yard in direct opposition to the landscaping rules currently in place. They might install brightly-colored siding on their home or otherwise make changes to the property that violate HOA rules.
Will attempting to enforce the rules after the fact cost an HOA money?
The homeowner will likely absorb most of the costs
In a scenario where an HOA notifies a homeowner of a significant violation and they refuse to make corrections, the HOA can then potentially engage in enforcement actions. In some cases, the best approach might involve taking the non-compliant homeowner to civil court.
A judge could potentially order them to bring the property back into alignment with Community standards at their own expense. In other words, provided that the HOA prevails during the court proceedings, the chances are good that the homeowner who violated the HOA bylaws will be the one who will have to cover the costs associated with bringing their property back into compliance.
Active enforcement helps protect the community
There are always excuses about why someone may have violated the bylaws or made certain mistakes in the maintenance or repair of their property. However, a failure by a local HOA to enforce certain standards with one resident will make it much harder for them to enforce them with others in the future.
Uneven enforcement could lead to claims of discrimination and could render the HOA relatively impotent. Active enforcement of all community standards is necessary for the HOA to maintain its authority and preserve property values within the community.
Learning more about the rules that apply to Utah homeowner associations and the communities governed by them can benefit board members and local residents alike.