Letter of Compliance Information
Letter of Compliance Request Forms have a checklist of what to look for around your house and property before you submit the request. This may help avoid delays and letter of non-compliance.
What to look for before you ask for a letter of compliance… Are all items installed approved by the Architectural Committee?
- Landscape edging – wood, brick, rock, etc.
- Landscaping – ground cover beds, groups of trees and/or shrubs, annual/perennial gardens
- Landscape walls, railroad ties, “castle rock,” stacked fieldstone, etc.
- Pathways – slate, paver blocks, etc.
- Window boxes on the house or deck rail
- Color changes to any part of the house, garage or shed
- Decks or patios – if builder-installed we will not have a record of it and will require application and approval
- Replacement windows – if a different color or style or if grids have been added or removed
- Basketball poles
- Radon remediation pipes
- Paint or stain on the deck
Do you have items which are unlikely to be approved or which require an exception to the guidelines?
- Any unapproved wire fencing
- A basketball pole less than ten feet from the curb or nearest property line.
- Windows with no grids in a colonial style home.
- Any shed not located behind the house
- Any man-made decorative item located in the front yard – small or large statuary/ornaments such as bunnies, bird feeders, etc.
Is there maintenance to be done?
- Weed landscape beds and trim the grass, including at house and fence lines and at landscape bed edges
- Install missing window screens
- Replace broken light fixture covers
- Scrape and paint peeling house or window trim
- Clean mildew or mold from siding
- Rake and dispose of leaves
- Remove any miscellaneous scattered items in the yard or around the house
- Repair or replace leaning or broken fences, broken gates, deck rails., etc.
- Remove and replace dead trees /shrubs
- Move trash and recycling bins to the rear yard
In addition, there is a line for the homeowner to sign acknowledging that the homeowner has read the Letter of Explanation on the reverse of the Request Form. Any request submitted without this signature will be returned and may cause a delay of ten to 14 days.
Understanding the Process For Letters of Compliance
On an average day, the Long Reach Village Covenant Advisors understand that most residences will not be in full compliance with every single one of the Village Covenants. That is because something as minor as a bag of mulch sitting in your front yard can cause you to be in violation of the Covenants. It is a different story when residents request a Letter of Compliance before selling their property. A Letter of Compliance is a legal document that assures anyone interested in buying your property that, on the date issued, there were no Covenant violations on the property for which a new owner would be held responsible. We do a close and careful inspection of the property before certifying that any property is fully in compliance with the Covenants.
If you are considering putting your house on the market, keep in mind these tips to make the process of obtaining a Letter of Compliance easier.
- First, give the Covenant Advisors as much advance time as you can when requesting a Letter of Compliance. It generally takes several weeks for us to inspect the property, and it may take several more weeks for the property to be brought into full compliance with the Covenants.
- Second, make sure any major or minor alterations to your property have been approved by the Architectural Committee – or apply now for approval. This includes alterations such as the addition of a flag bracket, window boxes, landscape ties or color changes to the house, shutters, door or trim. Even if the alteration was on the property when you purchased the house, it may not necessarily have been approved. When in doubt, check with our office.
- Third, make sure your property is properly maintained, with the grass mowed, leaves raked and any needed repairs or painting completed.
Our office can provide you with a suggested list of items to look for and correct before requesting a Letter of Compliance. Often, a minor violation of the Covenants can be corrected quickly by the homeowner and a Letter of Compliance issued. On the other hand, if a violation of the Covenants is discovered as a result of our inspection, the violation must be corrected by the current or new owner of the property.
Homeowner Rehab Loans
The Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development offers low interest or deferred loans to assist low and moderate-income property owners rehabilitate their homes. Eligibility is limited by income guidelines. For more information or to see if you qualify, please phone 410/313-5910 or 5912.