Compared to a few years back, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have become a common topic today. It is important for homeowners and investors to be more aware of what they are buying into. The quality of life and financial situation can be impacted by the Homeowners Associations. It is very important to know the common HOA rules and what would be the impact for those living within that jurisdiction. An area can have significant value through amenities and some rules because of HOAs. HOAs exercise a lot of power over communities and neglecting to learn their rules and regulations is a disservice to yourself.
It is a good practice to familiarize yourself with the HOA rules before you buy your next investment property.
What are Homeowners Associations (HOAs)?
HOAs are the governing bodies that establish rules and regulations which are traditionally used to run a particular housing development. The main reason Homeowners associations exist is because developers have a vested interest and inclination in the success of their respective home buyers. Marketing, managing, selling, and maintaining a particular residential jurisdiction’s status quo is the reason why developers have formed private associations such as HOA. The homeowner’s associations enable developers to keep tabs on their projects after homes are sold. The ownership of the HOA is transferred by the developers to the homeowners who have purchased into their community after a certain number of lots have been sold. At this point, the concerns of the community are transferred to the homeowners from the developers.
- Planned Development HOAs
The homeowners abiding by the HOA rules and regulations and paying the HOA fees would be required by many planned developments. The allowed appearance of the community’s homes and yards, the number of pets that are allowed per household, noise restrictions etc are some of the HOA guidelines. Members who live within the community would regulate the shared amenities and common areas which are part of HOAs. There are only a very few Americans that are likely to live in an HOA community.
- HOA Rules and Regulations Examples
The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are a system of rules that govern the HOAs. Let us discuss some of the common regulations:
- Fee Obligations
Providing the best living experience is the duty of the HOA and this comes at a cost. The dues have to be paid by the homeowners and it has to be ensured that the HOA has the required funds to maintain the building or neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is governed by the HOA because of the dues paid.
- Pet Regulations
There is a reputation developed by the HOAs for implementing stringent pet regulations. Though pets are allowed by most HOAs, but only after including a specific set of pet regulations and rules which allows them to have good control over the community. Therefore, much to many homeowners’ dismay, pet regulations are some of the most common HOA rules in the country.
- Rental Guidelines
It is important for homeowners and investors to know that renters will be subject to the same CC&Rs as everyone else. Property owners are required to notify the HOA if they are choosing to rent out a home so that the HOA knows who is living in the property. More importantly, the HOA rules need to be communicated by the homeowners to the renters. As per homeowners rules and regulations, homeowners could be penalized if their tenant fails to follow the rules.
- Maintenance Standards
The homeowners associated with the HOA are required to maintain their curb appeal. Routine maintenance like mowing and watering the lawn cannot be neglected. Because failing to do it might ruin the aesthetics and the perceived value of the living area could reduce because of such inconsistencies. And it is completely up to the homeowners to maintain the property and keep it immaculate and presentable, meeting the HOA’s standards.
- Occupancy Limits
As per the HOA rules, there are certain limitations as to how many people can inhibit in one dwelling and this restriction in order to reduce congestion. The limits are defined by the square footage of a home. If the home is bigger, the HOA may allow more people to live in it.
One of the most common HOA rules is the parking regulations. Regulating which vehicles are permitted, the speed regulations and the parking stipulations are some of the rules of HOA.
Homeowners are urged to exercise restraint by HOAwhen it comes to noisy activities. HOAs have quiet hours that restrict noise in the neighbourhood during the night or early morning.
The insurance guidelines of homeowners will vary by state. As a benefit of belonging to the HOA, some insurance costs would be covered by the HOA whereas the other insurance costs are required to be covered by the homeowner and it is the homeowner’s responsibility. It is a good practice to check the specific HOA’s insurance rules in order to understand what insurance costs you are liable to pay and which is your responsibility and what other added insurance the HOA may provide.
The above mentioned are the most common rules of the HOA and there are several other regulations pertaining to building or area. Hence, the list above is a general overview of what are some of the basic and most important rules of the homeowners association.