An HOA violation is something no homeowner wants to receive in the mail. However, violations happen and one of the most common approaches to resolution is a disciplinary hearing.
While this may seem like an unnecessary scolding to an association homeowner or tenant, following the community’s regulations is paramount. Common ground must be found, and disciplinary hearings serve as an official setting where the board and tenants can communicate and come to terms with the correction of a violation.
Entering into a disciplinary hearing can seem intimidating, but as association managers, we’re here to say that with preparation, a hearing can be a smooth and fruitful experience. Here’s a look at how you can best prepare for an HOA disciplinary meeting.
Review Your HOA CC&Rs
Once your board has informed you of your disciplinary hearing, you should have all of the details about your meeting. This includes what you did to violate a community provision and where the rule can be found in your association’s CC&Rs.
Take the time to read your local documents, find out what actions you did to violate them, and how you can potentially resolve the issue prior to your disciplinary hearing.
Inform Your Board of Your Attendance Plans
In the spirit of being a good neighbor, take action quickly and let your board know whether or not you will be able to attend the meeting. Being present at your meeting allows you to discuss the issue with your fellow neighbors and potentially avoid further fines and board action.
Keep in mind that failure to attend your hearing doesn’t always grant a meeting extension. The board can follow through with making a final decision with or without your presence.
Some of the following reasons that allow for a meeting reschedule can include the following:
- Travel plans
- Work schedule interference
It’s never beneficial to show up to a hearing unprepared. You should have a fair amount of time to get an argument and all relevant documentation ready for your meeting with the board.
Some steps towards effective preparation for a violation hearing include before and after photos if you’ve already fixed the violation and a clear understanding of the board’s meeting policies regarding your meeting’s time limit. This can help you craft definitive points that address the violation.
Details surrounding hearing policies can be gathered from your HOA management team.
Don’t Take the Hearing Personally
While it may seem like the board has singled you out and wants you to be unhappy, the truth is, their decision isn’t anything personal. Your board must ensure that the neighborhood follows its CC&Rs. When something is out of uniform or goes against the HOA rules, it’s their responsibility to take action.
In the spirit of respecting their responsibilities, we suggest following these two golden rules:
- Walk into your appointment calm, ready to discuss your situation
- Avoid alienating your fellow neighbors with a bad attitude that completely tarnishes your argument’s credibility
Goodwin & Company Helps Keep All Parties Prepared for Disciplinary Hearings
If your community board needs an association management team on its side to help set disciplinary hearings and violation notices into motion, Goodwin & Company is ready to meet you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to meet with a member of our team!
We are a Dallas-based community management team that is dedicated to helping the communities we serve to keep all owners happy and comfortable within the neighborhood they call home.