The Dos and Don’ts of Adapting to the New Normal—With Your HOA
Many homebuyers are attracted to neighborhoods with a homeowners’ association (HOA) board that enforces guidelines to promote the safety of the residents and the aesthetic of the homes. By paying monthly or yearly , residents of a neighborhood get to enjoy amenities like parks, pools and walking paths. typically cover upkeep of common areas and any neighborhood events as well. In return, neighbors the governing covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that regulate home appearances and activities.
People are spending more time than ever at home due to COVID-19 concerns, which means that homeowners in HOA-regulated neighborhoods will benefit from revisiting their community’s CC&Rs. There is certainly extra time in the day that can be used to avoid accrual of any HOA violations. It will take some time to adjust to the new normal, but these guidelines can help make the transition smoother.
Do: Use the Extra Time to Keep Up Landscaping
One commonality across most HOA neighborhoods is the regulation of front lawns. Some neighborhoods are more strict and will issue violations for grass that is too long, for example, but others simply don’t allow weeds to remain unaddressed for weeks at a time. With the extra time not spent commuting, homeowners can up with their landscaping.
Don’t: Leave Your Car in an Unauthorized Location
Many homeowners with traditional office jobs may not have ever thought about the parking regulations in their neighborhood because the rules only apply from 9AM to 5PM, but the CC&Rs that reference parking locations are worth a revisit. There are that do not allow cars to be parked on the street at certain times of day, even if that street is outside one’s own home.
Do: Stay on Top of The Trash Schedule
Neighbors help each other out and sometimes even handle the small tasks for each other out of the goodness of their hearts. However, as interpersonal contact decreases in an effort to practice social distancing, these favors will likely halt. For example, a retired neighbor could set up the trash for everyone on the block who works full time, but this now the responsibility of each household. Failure to abide by the trash collection schedule is a common HOA violation that is rarely thought about but easily avoided.
Don’t: Treat the Common Area as an Off-Leash Dog Park
If dog owners who relied on daycare for their pets are now looking for adequate exercise options, the neighborhood park is unfortunately not an option for off-leash play. Most HOAs require dogs to be on a leash while in common areas unless explicitly stated. It is also required to pick up any waste from common areas.
Do: Clear Excess Debris and Stains
Cars in the driveway all day can deposit stains, which are often not allowed by HOAs. In the same vein as using the extra time to keep up with landscaping, it is also wise to routinely clean the mailbox, driveway and home exterior.
Don’t: Redecorate Against Community Guidelines
The current social climate has some homeowners using humor to cope, including reassembling holiday decorations. Some neighborhoods have specific windows of time during which external holiday decor is allowed while others have no such provisions. These will be outlined in the CC&Rs.
Do: Enjoy the Benefits of the Neighborhood
The duty of the homeowners’ association is to create regulations that will protect the neighborhood and maintain aesthetic standards, which oftentimes results in community benefits like a pool, bike lanes and walking trails. There has never been a better time to take advantage of the amenities that you are paying for as a neighborhood resident.
Find An Experienced Phoenix Real Estate Attorney
The attorneys at MacQueen & Gottlieb have significant experience with real estate law in Arizona. Our attorneys can assist you with any issues and help you understand your rights. If you live in an HOA community and are experiencing disputes while adjusting to the new normal, our attorneys can assist you in pursuing that case. Contact us today at (602) 726-2229 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.