Management Companies primarily deal with enforcement issues. Often, they can seem impersonal at best and as bullies at worst. Unfortunately, many of these companies treat offenses as criminal acts. Moreover, they often improperly enforce HOA covenants. The two main ways that they do this is first through unequal or selective enforcement, and second through attempts to enforce rules that do not exist.
Unequal and selective enforcement shows up in the obvious situation of a letter or action being taken against one homeowner for a violation, but not against another homeowner violating the same rules. It is your right as a homeowner to be treated the same as every other homeowner in the association. If the association is not enforcing the rule against one person, it cannot enforce that rule against another. The less obvious way that this shows up is through permissions. For example, a homeowner asks for a structural modification and is denied, yet three other neighbors have the same modification (such as the addition of a deck or porch behind the house).
Other times, we see the management company specifically request a change to the property, but they do not have the authority to request that change. HOA covenants are specific, and they differ from one to another. Often management companies do not research these matters before sending a letter, and they may be asking for a change or correction that is not required. The best way to prevent this is to ask them to put in writing the section of the HOA covenants that you are violating. This also helps you to understand what your responsibilities are if you actually are in violation.
Enforcement issues are the top reason that someone will seek an attorney. Often, after discussing the matter with us, we are able to tell a client what they can do on their own in order to handle these issues. Other times, they need further representation. If you need to review an enforcement issue with an attorney, we invite you to schedule a consultation at 770-863-8355. The cost of the consultation is $75.00 for half an hour. If you cannot make the appointment, we require a 24 hour advance notice to reschedule or cancel or the consultation fee is non-refundable.