Have you recently purchased a condo, townhouse or any other type of property in a planned development? A planned development can be a leased land property, a gated community or a subdivision. If you have, you may be obligated to join the community’s Homeowners’ Association (otherwise known as HOA). Read on to learn more about Homeowners’ Association basics and it’s workings.
What is Homeowners’ Association?
Homeowners’ Association is formed by what’s known as “covenants, codes, and restrictions” (CC&R). The CC&R is attached to the deed that you’ve most likely signed before obtaining ownership of the property. HOA’s are governed by a series of laws drawn primarily from the Civil Code, the Corporations Code, the Subdivided Lands Act of the Business and Professions Code and by sections of the Government Code.
What is the Purpose of Homeowners Association?
To achieve “social success” and to enhance “the enjoyment and tranquility for all persons living in the commhomey” as stated by the Board of Directors. The regulations and restrictions are provided to inform residents with what’s expected in their conduct as homeowners.
Fees to join your HOA can range from $200-$400 per month. HOA fees largely depend on the quality and class (whether it’s upscale, etc.) of the building and the number of amenities it holds. Other possible fees may be included if, for example, a new roof is needed. If there aren’t enough funds in the HOA’s reserves to cover it, the association may charge an extra assessment.
These may be important questions to ask before buying a property in a community that has an HOA:
-What does the monthly dues cover? (will you still have to pay extra for garbage pickup? how about cable?)
-How large is the HOA’s revers fund?
-How are HOA fee increases set and how often do increases occur?
-By how much have increases been raised in the past?
All residents of condominiums or townhouses must be equally responsible for maintaining the common areas such as swimming pools, elevators, parking garages, landscaping, fitness rooms, security gates, roofing and building exteriors. But residents are not alone, HOA fees help maintain the quality of life for the community’s residents and protect property values for all owners.
Rules, Rules, Rules
As mentioned earlier, the rules and regulations are central to HOA’s function.
There will come a time where you might not agree on a specific rule. When this happens, you can always communicate your issues to your community’s immediate HOA (you can look it up online) with a phone call or a written request for variance. However, do not expect an easy solution. If your board decides to pursue your issue, it might require a community vote, if the it passes a majority, the board will adopt it.
To learn more about specific HOA rules and regulations, you can always look them up online or if you cannot find current information ask a professional property manager to help guide you.
Enough About What They Expect….
It’s especially important that you know YOUR rights as a homeowner. We hope this article has served as a clear and simple guide on helping you learn the basics of Homeowners’ Association.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.