If you are looking at buying an HOA property, or if you already live in one, then you want to know what your homeowner rights and responsibilities are. Well, we can help you with that. Read on for the list of things you'll want to keep in mind when it comes to HOA rights and responsibilities of ownership.
Follow the rules. HOAs govern through the rules and regulations adopted in the Board's founding documents -- like the bylaws and through the covenants, conditions, and restrictions the Board adopts (more commonly known as the CCRs).
The HOA may also have other rules and regulations determined by Board action on various topics. Rules may cover whether and how many cats/dogs owners may keep in their unit. The HOA may have noise rules that say what time at night owners and residents have to stop playing loud music, whether residents can plant vegetables on their little piece of heaven, and
HOAs also usually charge an HOA assessment. The assessment covers things like repairs and maintenance of the community property assets. Community property assets include pools, parking lots, exercise facilities, on-site meeting halls, the grounds, trees, shrubs, sidewalks, lighting, snow removal, and the like.
HOA owners must comply with all the rules and regulations, including timely payment of the HOA dues. Of course, HOA owners have the right to expect certain things in return.
HOA Owners have the right to expect certain things from their HOA. They have the right to:
- vote for Board members;
- use all common property like recreational facilities, clubhouse and common grounds;
- respectful service by responsive property management staff;
- nondiscriminatory and scrupulous treatment by property management staff and HOA leaders;
- a community association that adopts fair rules and enforces those rules against all owners;
- review association books, records, and administrative rules, including the right to receive a copy of the community's complete rules and regulations before buying into the community (or at settlement);
- expect their community leaders to work in the best interests of the community as a whole;
- expect the Board to spend HOA finances wisely and to bear fiduciary responsibility in all its decisions regarding the community;
- appeal decisions of the Board that the owner believes unfair, against the rules, or adverse to the owner's rights;
- avail him or herself to disciplinary proceedings set up by the Board;
- challenge association rules; and
- attend and participate in regular community meetings.
HOA members have responsibilities under the HOA agreement, too. The other side of that token is that homeowners must carry out their responsibilities under the association rules. The following are a few examples. Homeowners must:
- comply with all association rules and regulations;
- pay homeowner assessments and special charges for unexpected expenses (such as flood damage or repairs after winter storms) when due;
- treat Board members and property management staff with respect and provide fair feedback on association issues;
- upkeep their individual property according to HOA standards, such as the architectural committee's decisions;
- keep Board members and community association managers updated concerning the owner's financial difficulties and to request payment arrangements as a result of those difficulties;
- ensure that their tenants and guests staying on the HOA property obey all the HOA rules and covenants;
- vote in Board elections and on HOA issues.
For an interesting comparison between costs of repairs/maintenance when owning a home and condo fees, read doughroller.net's article entitled "Should Your Next Home Have an HOA?"
To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We are your resource for all your HOA questions.