Some homeowners associations experience a high volume of graffiti within their neighborhoods. The association should be monitoring these incidents and should immediately remove graffiti from common areas when this happens. Members are encouraged to do the same with their property, as well as taking steps to deter vandals in the neighborhood.
Here are some recommended steps for dealing with graffiti:
1. If you happen to see someone defacing property, don't try to stop it yourself.
Call the police immediately and report a vandalism in progress. Make a mental note of as many details as possible about the perpetrators including how many, what age, male or female, and any distinctive clothing that will help the police identify them.
2. Encourage your neighbors to also watch for and report graffiti vandals.
It’s important to look out for each other in your neighborhood, and one way of doing this is to notify both your neighbors and board members about any graffiti you see or vandals you observe.
3. When graffiti appears on property in the homeowners association, photograph it before removing it.
Record when and where it appeared, when it was removed, the cost and other relevant information. Share your documentation with the police and insurance agent.
4. As soon as you have photographed the graffiti, remove it immediately.
"Taggers" gain more notoriety the longer the graffiti remains. Removing it quickly sends a message that you care about your Association community.
5. Install good lighting in areas vulnerable to graffiti.
This is just one example of a way to deter vandals. They will be less tempted to vandalize if they can easily be seen. You could also consider taking it a step further and installing a video surveillance system, but be sure to check the CC&Rs before doing so.
6. Plant shrubs or climbing vines in graffiti-prone areas.
This will help discourage vandals because access to appealing areas isn’t as easy. You can also consider planting hedges near and around walls. Anything to cover up the “canvas” that would look enticing to a vandal.
7. Apply a layer of clear paint or silicone coating over painted surfaces.
This will make cleaning future graffiti much easier in problem areas where graffiti reappears regularly.
Working together to help clean up graffiti and deter vandals in your homeowners association can help reduce the high volume of incidents and problems in your community.