Home Business Magazine Online
Homeowners Association (HOA) is one of the most popular forms of housing in the United States. It has maintained a steady number of residents for over a decade.
In 1970, there were only 2.1 million residents in HOAs. In 2021, this number increased to 74.2 million.
What is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
A homeowner association is a self-governing organization that makes and enforces rules for a real estate neighborhood owned by multiple residents. Homeowners who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become a member and must pay dues used for maintaining the units or neighborhood.
HOA fees are decided by resident homeowners elected to a board of directors to oversee its management.
The rules of staying in an HOA varies; some board may restrict what homeowners can do with their properties, while others might give them more freedom.
How it works
You can think of an HOA as a community where homeowners pay property taxes. In contrast to the government’s, these taxes are used to pay for amenities installation and maintenance.
For instance, if the community playground needs to be mowed, homeowners are not expected to dedicate a day out of their busy schedules to do this. Instead, the HOA is responsible for getting the job done.
Common rules and regulations enforced by HOAs
Before buying a home in an HOA, it is recommended you request the most recent copy of the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) enforceable by the HOA board.
It is not unusual for HOAs to have rules regarding the following and mandate residents and owners to request approval before doing them:
- Structural changes to the home
- Painting of home exterior
- Holiday decorations
- Noise complaints
- Changing of mailbox design
- Lawn ornaments
- Adding or rewiring the electrical system
- Keeping of pets
- Renting out your home, such as for Airbnb
- Number of home occupants
What happens if you flout the rules of an HOA?
More than you think, the HOA rules are no joke. The irony is that a board member might be your neighbor, which means you have an eagle eye next door watching your actions.
An HOA can issue a warning or fine you for breaking a rule. If you fail to pay the fine, they may put a lien on your home, making it difficult to sell. However, you can fight back against any sanction by an HOA member, especially if you consider it a witch-hunt, such as when others have broken the same rule but were not penalized.
The first step in seeking redress is approaching HOA board members to review the penalty. If this fails, you may want to get a lawyer. State and federal laws supersede any HOA rules. HOA members are required to enforce their rules in line with their legal rights.
Responsibilities of homeowners association
Just as homeowners in an HOA community are required to abide by its rules and regulations, the HOA also has responsibilities it must live up to. After all, the fees paid are expected to be used for something.
Here are some responsibilities of HOA:
- Maintenance of common areas: It is the duty of the HOA to fix any fault in common areas, such as the swimming pool, street lights, and community playground.
- Conflict mediator: HOA members are responsible for investigating a filed complaint and also mediate conflicts among homeowners.
- Security: HOA security responsibilities include implementing appropriate measures to deter crime and respond to domestic violence. For instance, the HOA members must ensure the security cameras are working perfectly and that there is controlled access into the community.
If, after reading the CC&Rs of an HOA and you are okay with it, below are some benefits you may enjoy from staying in such a neighborhood:
- Low-maitenance lifestyle
- Access to various amenities
- Great for people who are retiring
- Increase in home value
- Homeowners do not have to worry about fixing any problem outside their property
- Offers conflict resolution hotline
Before reading these cons, it is essential to remember that the CC&Rs of HOAs vary. Compare different communities before deciding an HOA is not for you. Nevertheless, below are some of the disadvantages of staying in a homeowners association:
- The HOA fees can be expensive.
- You may feel uncomfortable with the number of restrictions on your property.
- The HOA board can suffer bad management, which will eventually affect the community.
- Board members can become power drunk and misuse their power, such as in a vendetta against a neighbor.
- Residents risk lien on their property if they violate the rules of the HOA.
The post Homeowners Association: How It Works, Things to Know, Pros and Cons appeared first on Home Business Magazine.