Here is a question that I received recently: 
Aren’t board members required to give advance notice before entering a residents backyard (restricted common area)? We’ve had ***** entering our backyards taping letters and pictures of violations onto our sliding glass window.”

This is the first I have heard about taped messages on the sliding glass doors in the back yard. I have to say I think this is a tacky and unprofessional way to address violations. If an HOA desires informality then make a phone call. If you want as an HOA to appear professional then write a letter or even at the least use the front door as the “taping” place rather than the back door. I can understand why an owner would feel “violated” if they returned home to a note posted on the back door that is in a fenced yard and had had no warning that someone would be back there for a specific reason based on a specific right.

Most HOA documents do allow the board the right to enter exclusive use space and even units with notice. Some people get bent out of shape when a board representative peers over the fence and I imagine some owners would freak out if someone entered without notice, and part of the role of the board is not to freak out owners! A more business like approach would make more sense, but of course I only ever hear one side. Maybe this owner received notice and ignored it. Maybe it was a development wide notice rather than specifically related to the property. It sounds like there was no notice though.

Some governing documents require 24 hour and some up to 72 hour notice to enter the private or exclusive use areas. Most do not require such notice in an emergency. Barring an emergency situation HOA Boards should use the guidance of the HOA documents (usually the CC&Rs but could appear in the Bylaws where Board Powers are listed).


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