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Home Watch and Homeowners Associations

October 10, 2023


When property owners are away from home for an extended time, they entrust their valuable assets to two entities: their Home Watch professional and their Homeowners Association (HOA). Yet, how can homeowners be assured their homes will be diligently monitored and maintained in their absence, and that their HOA standards will be upheld? The answer lies in compliance and accountability between Home Watch and the HOA.

Your HOA agreement provides the terms, conditions and responsibilities of both parties, including rules related to property inspections, security measures, reporting protocols and overall property maintenance. Your Home Watch company takes its responsibility seriously to ensure compliance with these guidelines as a courtesy to professionalism and the well-being of the community. HOA information should be shared with your Home Watch company in order to maintain HOA compliance and avoid penalties.

Accountability is upheld through transparent reporting. Your Home Watch company will maintain detailed records of property checks, security assessments, maintenance activities and any incidents or concerns in order to verify compliance and document activities. Records should include copies of invoices and any correspondence with the HOA. Reporting to the Homeowners Association ensures that the HOA is informed about the property status and any actions taken and is a means of empowering the HOA and homeowners with the information they need and proof that the Home Watch company is carrying out the prescribed responsibilities.

Emergencies also fall under accountability. The Home Watch company should have clear protocols for responding to incidents like break-ins, property damage or weather-related issues, and should communicate with the HOA in a timely manner should an emergency arise. This fosters trust and collaboration between the homeowner, the Home Watch company and the HOA.

Typical HOA Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations concerning unoccupied home where homeowners are away for an extended period of time can vary widely based on the policies established by the HOA, local ordinances and insurance requirements. Here are some typical rules and considerations that may apply:

  • Specific security measures such as locking all doors and windows, setting alarm systems, and notifying the HOA or designated contact of extended absences.
  • Maintaining the exterior appearance of the property, including regular lawn care, removing debris, and ensuring the home’s exterior remains in good condition. Neglect of these rules can lead to fines or HOA warnings.
  • Notifying the HOA of an extended absence so that HOA can keep track of vacant properties with methods such as increasing security patrols.
  • Mail and package collection, whether performed by the Home Watch company or the HOA.
  • Emergency contact information in case of property-related issues or emergencies.
  • Insurance requirements; some homeowner policies may have provisions related to unoccupied homes, especially if the home is vacant for a certain period, often 30 days or more. Failure to make arrangements could affect coverage in cases of damage or theft.
  • Function of utilities such as water, electricity and HVAC systems. Failure to maintain utilities could result in property damage or issues affecting neighboring properties.
  • Community aesthetics including trash bin placement, landscaping condition and property appearance.

Tips on How a Home Watch Company Can Work Effectively with HOAs

  1. Introduction and communication. Your Home Watch company may want to schedule an initial meeting with your HOA board or management.
  2. Customized services tailored to the HOA’s specific needs. These can include regular property inspections, security checks, maintenance and emergency response protocols.
  3. Compliance with HOA guidelines, covenants, conditions and restrictions, along with any rules and regulations.
  4. Transparent reporting with regular HOA updates detailing the outcomes of property checks, security assessments and maintenance or repair work done.
  5. Emergency preparedness protocols including procedures for handling property break-ins, damage or weather-related issues.
  6. Coordination with necessary permissions and keys to access the community and property for inspections and maintenance.

Compliance and accountability are the bedrock upon which trust and confidence are built.
By adhering to HOA agreements, transparently reporting activities, and being responsive to HOA and homeowner needs, your Home Watch company can play a pivotal role in maintaining your property’s security and aesthetics. The result is a harmonious and secure living environment.

Ensure HOA Compliance in Northern Virginia with Golden Rule Home Watch

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you don’t need to comply with your HOA regulations. Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge can help you with home inspections, regular maintenance activities and transparent reporting in order to keep your home safe and your homeowners association happy.

Need to learn more about Home Watch in Northern Virginia? Contact Golden Rule Home Watch today at 855-928-2424 for your free initial consultation.