The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (DCCR’s) dictate the rules or restrictions the owners of the land must follow in all Dallas homeowners associations (HOA), Property Owners Associations, and Community Associations. The DCCR’s are said to “run with the land”. This means that the restrictions for the property are in place no matter who owns the property.
The DCCR’s include specific guidelines for such items as yard maintenance, basketball goals, noise, pets, parking, vehicle storage and general nuisances. The DCCR’s also list in detail the Association’s covenant for assessments. This covenant gives the association, often times through the Dallas HOA management company, the right to charge dues to each of its members and lists the consequences for non-payment. The guidelines for establishing and executing the Architectural Control Committee are also included in the DCCR’s. All of these items are vital to an association and ensure that the association is always maintained and well kept by your Dallas HOA management company or Board of Directors.
Some specific restrictions that are normally included in the DCCR’s include but are not limited to the following:
Yard Maintenance: The DCCR’s should list general rules for the maintenance of the lawn. Items include mowing, edging, weed removal, watering, removing dead trees and plants, and replacing dead grass. Most of the violation/deed restriction letters that go out to homeowners have to do with lawn maintenance.
Parking: If in a gated community, the association owns the streets, and specific rules regarding parking must be in place for proper enforcement. If the community is not gated, the city or county usually own the streets and parking is available for public use. With most families having more than two cars and the garage being used as a storage facility, the trend has become to park in the street. Recently, some developers have added parking areas into the master development plan for the neighborhood from the beginning. Multiple cars parked along a street can create a dangerous situation for drivers and lower property values.
Basketball Goals: Specific rules must be developed for basketball goals including when they can be in use and where they need to be stored when not in use. Also, rules need to be clearly defined regarding permanent basketball goals and if they will be allowed with proper approval from the Architectural Control Committee.
Animals: The DCCR’s normally list which types of animals (domestic) and how many animals (two dogs and two cats) can be kept on a lot. Also, most DCCR’s mention that animals must be confined to the owner’s lot or on a leash at all times. Many complaints from homeowners have to do with the care, noise level and overall maintenance of pets. These issues can sometimes be avoided by clear, concise, enforceable restrictions in the DCCR’s.
Trailers, Boats etc.: Specific guidelines about what types of vehicles can be stored on the property should also be addressed in the DCCR’s. Boats, trailers, broken down vehicles, tractors or other recreational vehicles that are parked in the driveway are unsightly and can ruin property values over time. Also, if recreational vehicles are parked in the driveway, it’s difficult to get a regular car in the garage which leads to more parking in the street.
When a homeowner purchases a home in a community with a mandatory Dallas homeowners association, they must sign documents that state that they have been told that the property they are purchasing has rules and restrictions. So, it is important when purchasing a house in a mandatory Dallas HOA, to read through the DCCR’s and be aware of all of the rules of the neighborhood before purchasing. For more information, contact the Dallas HOA management company that is managing the community you are looking to purchase in.
Finding a contractor who will perform quality work for your Dallas HOA Board members at a reasonable price can be a daunting task. It’s always a good idea to ask for and check references and to contact the Better Business Bureau and your state licensing bureau to see if there are complaints against a prospective contractor. In addition, the following warning signs can alert you to unscrupulous, disorganized, inexperienced or financially troubled contractors who may deliver broken promises, bad work and blown budgets rather than professional results.
First Impressions: In any business, first impressions are important. How a contractor presents himself and maintains his truck, tools and equipment are good indicators of how well he’ll take care of you and your job. He should look neat and professional, and his vehicles and equipment should be clean and in good repair.
Beware Low Bids: As Dallas HOA Board members, whether you’re bidding out a project for your Dallas homeowners association or for your home price is always an important consideration when selecting a contractor, but don’t let a low price or a special deal blind you to a potential problem—both can be signs that you should be wary. A bid far lower than others may indicate the contractor isn’t experienced enough to know the actual cost of the job or he never intends to finish the work. Disreputable contractors may bid low to secure a contract and then tack on extra charges as the job progresses.
Take Your Time: If your Dallas HOA Board members are pressured during the bidding process by tactics such as “limited-time offers,” look for a different contractor. Hiring a contractor is not a split-second decision; for this reason, many states give homeowners three days to cancel a home improvement contract — without obligation — after signing it. A prospective contractor should take his time as well, carefully reviewing the specifications of your job before submitting his bid. If he doesn’t take notes and measurements and make material and labor calculations, or if he simply names a price based on a similar job, he may not be detail-oriented or thorough enough to do a good job.
Beware Materials Discount: A prospective contractor may offer you a discount, hoping to earn your future business following a job well done, but be wary if a contractor offers materials at a discounted rate. Small contractors rarely buy materials in the high volumes necessary to yield big discounts, and unless they severely overestimated quantities for a previous job, they rarely stock large inventories of material. Discounted materials are usually seconds, ungraded or below-grade minimums for code, any of which would compromise the quality of your project.