Enforcing rules in homeowner associations can be a precarious task, especially when neighbors are lording over other neighbors. While verbal communications can be effective, it's important to memorialize significant violations in writing and to keep copies in the owner's file. This is important because there a few owners that insist on being "problem children" and historical records are important for handling them and showing that the board was reasonable.
Notifying owners of violations should be done factually, tactfully and in writing. Avoid legalese as much as possible. The object of a violation notice is to communicate the issue and solution clearly and to get cooperation, not to find reasons to smite thy neighbor.
Here's a notice that has the appropriate elements:
April 1, 2001
Mr. Rowdy N. Wilde
666 Devil's Alley
Leisure City FL
Regarding: Notice of Rule Violation
Dear Mr. Wilde:
Nottacare HOA has a long history of cooperation and peaceful coexistence. This is only possible if all residents practice the Golden Rule in daily interactions with their neighbors. A matter has come to my attention that requires me to tender you this Notice of Rule Violation. These are the circumstances:
On the evening of March 15, 2001, you hosted an "Ides of March Celebration" which featured a Tequila Slamming Contest, Viking Smorgasbord (no utensils permitted), Nude Dancers and a Bacchanalian Orgy. Your exuberant guests made boisterous comments, lurid hand gestures, and unwanted advances to the numerous neighbors that respectfully requested that you and they "tone it down a bit".
This event was clearly in violation of the Nottacare HOA Rules & Regulations section titled "Quiet Hours" which reads:
"All residents shall respect quiet hours from 10 pm to 8 am to ensure restful sleep for all neighbors."
Violation of this rule carries a $25 fine. Please remit this amount payable to "Nottacare HOA" by no later than April 15, 2001 at the address listed below. Also, I ask for your particular attention to maintaining quiet hours in the future.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please call me at 555-7777. If you would like to appeal this Notice, please do so in writing to me at the address listed below. All appeals will be heard by the Board within 10 days.
Nottacare Homeowners Association
PO Box 1234
Leisure City FL 22333
For more information on this subject, see www.Regenesis.net .