It’s your first month in your new place and you receive a bill from a homeowners association (HOA). You don’t know what your money is going towards, let alone what it is and does. Many people miss out on the true value of their HOA because they’re not sure what it is. You may even want to get involved or attend board meetings. Well, we’re here to clear up the confusion.
What is an HOA?
A homeowners association is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. Within each community, the residents share the responsibility of maintaining their properties and the common areas. To help pay for this, those who purchase property within the HOA’s jurisdiction have to pay a due, known as HOA fees.
HOAs are volunteer residents that are recruited and voted into each position. Some of the responsibilities of the HOA board are:
- Setting and enforcing rules
- Maintaining common areas
- Collecting dues
- Managing budgets
- Hiring staff for common areas
- Managing insurance for common areas
- Protecting property values
- Providing services, amenities, and facilities
But, keep in mind that sometimes HOAs will hire third-party property management companies who can help with the responsibilities of running an HOA.
The Structure of an HOA Board of Directors
To run like a well-oiled machine, the HOA board is comprised of these key roles: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Each key figure plays a vital role to a smoothly running community.
To learn more about roles and responsibilities, download the Simplifying the HOA Process ebook.
Clearing Up The Confusion Over The Governing Documents
There are three types of governing documents: covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs), rules & regulations, and bylaws.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs)
A legally binding document that’s recorded and filed with the state. The CC&Rs cover the rights and obligations of the HOA to its members and vice versa. To change the CC&Rs, the board will have to vote to make any changes.
Rules & Regulations
Whatever isn’t covered by your CC&Rs and Bylaws will be covered in your rules and regulations. They’re often the rules that often get changed regularly.
If CC&Rs are the “what” of the HOA, the bylaws are the “how.” Similar to CC&Rs, bylaws are difficult to change and require a vote.
How Can You Get the Most Out of Your HOA?
Even though HOAs can get a bad rap, there are a lot of benefits that come with living in a community governed by an HOA. Not only can the rules and regulations help protect your property values, but also they can keep your community looking clean, maintained and safe. Check out “Simplifying the HOA Process” for our helpful tips.
The more deeply you become involved in your HOA community, the more you can witness firsthand how your HOA positively impacts your property values and creates an enjoyable community.
Download the Checklist to Ask Great Questions at the Next HOA Board Meeting
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