Homeowners Associations (HOAs) were originally created to give everyone a larger say in their community. The rules and regulations are there to provide structure, preserve property values, and increase a sense of unity within the neighborhood boundaries. But not all HOAs function in the same way, and some can lead homeowners to feel stifled or even alienated. We'll look at how HOA laws work and what you can expect.
HOAs vote on a number of different laws for their community, but the majority of laws are passed down by the state. A state like Florida will have a number of hurricane regulations in its laws while a state like California may concentrate more so on earthquakes. Property owners are expected to comply with all state mandates to ensure their homes are protected in case of a disaster. But HOAs can definitely expand those state laws, depending on everything from personal values to property values.
HOAs will typically require dues in order to keep the association going. These fees generally total anywhere between $200 and $400 a month, and typically go toward maintaining the shared amenities (e.g., clubhouse, tennis court, etc.) of the property. For some residents, these fees are more than worth what they receive in return. You may want access to a pool without having to schedule maintenance or pay for repairs out-of-pocket. However, not all property owners get the same utility out of shared spaces, so it's important to take this into account before opting for a property with an HOA.
HOA Code of Conduct
A code of conduct is essentially there to ensure that all property owners keep up their homes and grounds. It may dictate what colors can be used to paint the home, or how tall grass can be before it needs to be mowed. The larger the general property, the more detailed their HOA laws are likely to be. While some residents love the order and predictability of an HOA, others feel resentful of the restrictions imposed upon them. The good news is that the code of conduct is dictated by the residents.
HOA laws are typically governed by the original developers of the property until a minimum percentage of units have been sold to the public. From there, it's the collective who will make decisions moving forward. Before choosing an HOA, make sure that you're picking an area with like-minded property owners. Otherwise, you may end up feeling trapped by rules that you neither agree with or approve of.