Whether you are brand new to your neighborhood association or a long-time resident, you may have a love/hate relationship with the Homeowners Association (HOA). In this article, we will cover 5 reasons you may hate your HOA. 

 

1. Rules

You may not have been part of the initial creation of the community documents, but you are required to follow all of the rules in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), Rules & Regulations or the Bylaws

There may be consequences for not complying with the rules laid out by your Homeowners Association including fees, fines and potentially appearing at a hearing in front of the board.

However, the Rules & Regulations and the Bylaws are able to be changed through a proposed amendment, followed by a vote during a Board meeting. Your HOA should have this process laid out in the CC&Rs. If the process is not spelled out, you can create the proposed amendment, get buy in from your neighbors and bring the proposed amendment to the next board meeting with your supporters. The board may need to gather more information before voting or proposing changes to the amendment. 

 

2. Special assessments

No one likes paying additional money on top of the monthly or quarterly fees. However, the upkeep of the community may require additional funds that aren’t covered by the reserves. 

No matter the size or shape of the community, all associations will have some form of common area that may need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded. Examples of neighborhood improvements paid for by the HOA that could require special assessments include a new roof for a condo complex, a new front gate and guard house for a gated community, and siding repairs for townhouse communities. 

 

3. It’s as clear as mud

Once you fall in love with your dream home and put in the offer, there are lots of emotions that may cloud your judgment about the neighborhood. Being wrapped up in the excitement of the perfect home may help you overlook the details of how the association is run. Then it happens… You may have received a fine, need assistance in parking regulations or just have questions in general about how things work. 

So you attend the first board meeting and it’s clear as mud. You have no idea what’s happening within the board. The HOA documents are written more for lawyers than they are for the common person. There may be a lack of clarity, procedure or process and you have no idea where to go to get what you need accomplished. Even long-time homeowners may have the same lack of clarity as you do. 

Don’t let this get you down. Check out our Ask Great Questions at the Next Board Meeting checklist. If time is limited and you don’t get to your questions, a 1:1 meeting with a board member may help to direct you to the right information or process. If it doesn’t, the property management company (if you have one) may be able to help. 

 

4. Harder to sell your home

When it comes time to sell your home, you will need to provide updated documentation from the HOA to the prospective buyer and give them time to review the documents. Without a smooth running board, getting the documentation to sell your home could be almost impossible. 

If the HOA doesn’t have current meeting notes or ample reserves, you may also encounter issues in the underwriting process. There are also limitations on loan types if the ratio of owner-occupied units to rented units is too high. 

 

5. Being a board member is a thankless job

Before you get upset with the board, remember in most cases these are volunteers who stepped up to help run the community. Board members are usually voted in at the annual meeting. In many associations, there is a lack of willing volunteers to step into the roles because they know of the amount of work it takes or may want to avoid potential drama with their neighbors.

The hardest part about being on the board is that no matter how good of a job you do, neighbors may not agree in the priorities, scope or timelines. This causes friction and frustration that while it can be avoided in some cases, other situations may foster it. 

But, we are not telling you not to join a board. In fact, we are in full support of being more involved with the HOA because with more involvement comes more volunteers, which means more projects will be accomplished. To learn more about joining the board, check out this article

 

Now that you’ve been through our take on the reasons to hate your HOA, checkout 5 Reasons to Love Your HOA.

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