HRCA complaint response alarms some residents

Covenants have protocol for reporting violations by neighbors

Posted 10/11/17

Some community members have used social media to voice concerns regarding the Highlands Ranch Community Association’s response to complaints on residential property.

One resident was alarmed when her neighbor informed her that someone thought …

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HRCA complaint response alarms some residents

Covenants have protocol for reporting violations by neighbors

Posted

Some community members have used social media to voice concerns regarding the Highlands Ranch Community Association’s response to complaints on residential property.

One resident was alarmed when her neighbor informed her that someone thought to be a homeowners association employee was in her backyard taking photos. She questioned if the employee was “legit” and her rights as a homeowner.

“I have small kids at home,” the resident said in a Sept. 5 post on a Highlands Ranch Facebook page. “If I see someone wandering onto our property taking pictures I’m going to be concerned.”

If the person was a homeowners association employee — which was never confirmed — he or she should not have been in the resident’s backyard without talking to her first, according to information provided by the HRCA.

But because Highlands Ranch is a convenant-controlled community, homeowners must abide by the Community Declaration, a governing document with guidelines on properties. The Highlands Ranch Community Association looks into complaints filed by residents, but the process is unclear — and worrisome — to some community members.

Below are four things to know.

Documentation

Residents can file a complaint with HRCA’s Community Improvement Services Department — at 303-471-8821 or covenant@hrcaonline.org — if a homeowner is not following convenant guidelines. A recreational vehicle parked in front of a home for more than 72 hours or a portable basketball hoop on the street are examples of actions that warrant a complaint.

The resident making a complaint is required to provide a document with the address of the alleged violator, the violation, date and time, and their own name and address if he or she is willing to disclose that information, according to Mike Bailey, HRCA’s director of community improvement services.

Visibility

The HRCA employee responding to a complaint will ask if the violation is visible from common or public areas, Bailey said. If it is, the employee will verify and document the violation firsthand. If it is not, the employee will request to be allowed on the reporting resident’s property to verify and document the violation. Employees may take photos of property — not people, according to HRCA’s website.

If a resident is not willing to allow an HRCA employee onto his or her property, the employee will ask the resident to provide photos of the violation.

“Staff shall not enter a property without permission from the owner or designated representative,” Bailey said.

Identification

HRCA employees wear apparel with HRCA’s logo and carry identification cards with their photograph and name. Employees will also provide business cards to residents for follow-up, Bailey said.

“We are always looking to improve our customer service while maintaining our obligation to enforce the standards set forth in the Community Declaration,” Bailey said in an email. “Additionally, the safety of our staff and residents is paramount.”

Verification

If the responding HRCA employee cannot verify the violation from common or public areas and the reporting resident is unwilling to allow the employee on his or her property or provide a photo of the violation, the association will not move forward with its investigation, said Bailey.

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