Homeowner’s associations (HOAs) are entities created to look after the interests of planned communities, condominiums and other developments that bring together several owners. These associations usually have membership fees payable monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on their by-laws. Membership to the HOA is automatic and mandatory if you buy a property within the area governed by the organization.
HOAs usually impose fines on members who do not comply with their rules or regulations. These fines can be hefty, even leading to the issuance of liens. The rules and regulations differ from HOA to HOA. Some associations are very strict and impose regulations to govern most aspects of housing within their jurisdiction. On the other hand, other associations are lenient and are more concerned with the comfort of homeowners.
Responsibilities of HOAs
HOAs started in the 1950s and their popularity gained traction with the housing boom. Today, nearly all developments have HOAs. Some of the responsibilities of HOAs include:
- i) Provision and maintenance of amenities
Planned communities and condos are constructed in such a way that homeowners share some amenities. One of the responsibilities of HOAs is to maintain these shared amenities. In most cases, the association will charge members a few for the upkeep of these facilities. The association can also propose development of new amenities. If members require new amenities, they will have to contribute towards the development.
HOAs ensure that shared resources are maintained and new ones are built when the need arises. Examples of shared amenities usually maintained by the associations include swimming pools, playgrounds and parks.
- ii) Maintain and Improve home value
Buying a home is a big investment that requires a lot of money. Years down the line, you do not want your property to depreciate in value due to a dilapidated neighborhood. HOAs ensure that the property values in their zones remain stable.
Most associations have rules and regulations meant to protect property values. For instance, the association can have restrictions on the kind of modification that can be done on a house. Some HOAs even specify the kind of trees and fencing allowed. All these regulations are aimed at maintaining the neighborhood at a certain standard, and in effect ensuring property values in the area remain stable or appreciate.
iii) Promote good neighborliness
No one likes to have unruly or uncouth neighbors. The rules and regulations set by HOAs prevent people who cannot comply with them from buying the property development. By setting the rules and regulations, the associations also ensure that the people who will buy the properties are like-minded. Due to the regulations, the development becomes a community which shares ideals.
- iv) Helps with collective bargaining
All cities or towns have their own housing laws, which the HOAs have to abide by. An association can step in when a neighborhood wants some changes to the town’s housing laws. The HOAs, especially hoa management greenville sc can present a petition on behalf of the homeowners. The petition is more likely to go through because it represents several house owners speaking in unison. Petitioning for a change in housing laws as an individual is expensive and will need time commitment, which you may not have.
Some people consider HOAs as unnecessary organizations that extort money from homeowners. This is far from the truth. The associations have many benefits which homeowners cannot achieve individually. Some associations may have strict rules and regulations. However, the rules set are for the benefits of the homeowners. If some of the high-end neighborhoods in the country were not run by HOAs, they would not be in the impressive state that they are in.
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