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Enforcement of CC&Rs and resolutions for violations

Most California homeowners' associations have procedures for enforcing and resolving violations of the covenants, conditions and restrictions that they create. Each declaration spells out the requirements for internal notices and hearings.

HOAs cannot evict, remove personal belongings of and violate the personal rights of residents to enforce CC&Rs and control violations. If some of the rules would cause unfair or undue hardship on residents, they can request a variance. This is a request to be exempt from the exact terms of certain CC&Rs.

HOA hearings handle nearly all variance requests. Prior to this, the HOA sends a notice to at least the residents of properties that could be affected by the result of the hearings. Sometimes, however, all of the residents in the community receive a notice. When HOAs believe that residents are violating their CC&Rs, they send written and verbal warnings to the alleged violators. If the issues persist, they hold association hearings to decide the next action. The alleged violators can use this time to defend or object the allegations. HOAs generally decide a resolution with a vote.

When alleged violations go unresolved, HOAs could take the issues to court. The court has jurisdiction to resolve the matters as it sees fit. This might involve ordering the removal of personal property, impounding vehicles, imposing injunctions and awarding monetary damages. When ruling in favor of HOAs, the court can empower them to take action and request help from law enforcement. If the court cannot establish a binding contract in HOA disputes, it cannot enforce CC&Rs.

Along with CC&Rs violations, HOA disputes could be about bylaw, code or noise issues. HOAs and residents alike might find that navigating the court system is confusing. They could look for experienced legal support to help them through the process.

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