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Understanding a Homeowner's Association (HOA) - Its Pros and Cons

Friday, February 18, 2022   /   by Jeff Lovato

Understanding a Homeowner's Association (HOA) - Its Pros and Cons

What Is a Homeowner's Association (HOA)?


A Homeowner's Association (HOA) is an association in a subdivision, community or apartment that makes rules regarding the properties and enforce these rules on the occupants. The individuals who buy property inside a HOA's area of responsibility become members and are required to pay HOA charges. Some HOA’s can be exceptionally prohibitive with regards to what members can do with their properties.


An HOA is made up and managed by the community residents.  Membership is generally required to purchase a home inside the local area where an HOA has been established.

An HOA typically has a board of directors that are elected to implement and administer the HOA's guidelines. An HOA will normally describe its rules in a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs set specific conditions for proprietors about the upkeep of their properties. These conditions incorporate limitations such as - the sort of fence or landscaping permitted - or more minor stylish decisions, like the paint color on a house. A CC&R record may also indicate penalties for violation of rules set out in the CC&R.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeowner Associations (HOA)


The HOA provides rules with the purpose of preserving and enhancing the community's property values. Often, these rules are appearance-oriented, focused on the cleanliness, state and repairs made on the property. Mostly these rules are intended to create a uniform appearance for all the properties within the association's zone.


HOA management provide additional services for its members in exchange for their HOA fees. These services may consist of landscaping, parking lots, and facilities like swimming pools, tennis courts, or party spaces available for all the HOA members. Some HOA fees also cover the cost of trash collection and snow removal.


A disadvantage of a HOA are the costly fees. Another are the HOA rules and regulations which may be too restrictive for some homeowners, who may want to modify or customize their properties as they please.


Additionally, HOA board members are normally volunteers, and they may not be properly trained to manage real estate and deal with complex problems that may arise within the community.


Pros


·         Set and enforce community rules


·         Protect property values


·         Provide services, amenities, and facilities


·         Offer self-governance


Cons


·         Impose fees, dues, and assessments


·         Maintain restrictive regulations


·         Operate inefficiently


·         May be run amateurishly or ineptly


What Legal Powers Does an HOA Have?


Normally, HOAs will have the legal authority to make and impose community policies, such as whether smoking, pets, or rentals are permitted. Also, HOAs will decide on budgets and will have the authority to charge monthly or one-time fees to their members. If a member refuses to pay these fees or to comply with the community policies, HOAs can impose a range of penalties ranging from monetary fines, restriction of community privileges, and even legal action.


Disclaimer: The Lovato Group provides information and resources related to homeowners' associations. The Lovato Group is not a government agency, law firm, or attorney and cannot provide you with any kind of legal advice or legal recommendations. The summaries provided on this website are not all-inclusive and do not represent every law, statute, or municipal code related to homeowner associations, condominiums, and cooperatives and should not substitute further research.


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The Lovato Group
Jeff Lovato
50 S Steele Street, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80209
720-854-4834

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