HOA managers and staff spend a lot of time answering questions from homeowners and providing helpful information. While the specific questions and concerns may vary, there do seem to be some very common questions that homeowners frequently ask.
What does HOA mean?
The letters HOA stand for Homeowner Association. An HOA is an organized group of single-family homes, condominiums, or townhouses that share common areas and amenities. Common synonyms for HOA are community association and condo association.
What is the purpose of an HOA?
An HOA aims to maintain common areas and amenities by collecting HOA fees, also known as assessments, from the association members. An HOA is formed by a Developer and includes any or all of the following: Rules and regulations, common areas that need to be maintained, insurance coverage for Directors & Officers and common areas, etc. The primary purpose of having an HOA or Condo Association is to preserve value and maintain common areas.
How do I opt-out of an HOA?
When you purchase a home in a community with an HOA, you will be presented with official documents (the CC&Rs) specifying that the property is part of a mandatory association. This on behalf of the association will be provided during escrow. This document is recognized as a legally binding contract, and there is no way to opt-out.
What does CC&R stand for?
The letters CC&R stand for Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.
What are CC&Rs?
CC&Rs are a set of requirements created by the developer to protect the integrity of the community and property values. CC&Rs are a part of the homeowners' association (HOA) governing documents.
Governing documents include the following:
CC&Rs cover the obligations of the community, and its members, such as:
- Assessment (HOA fee) obligations
- Insurance obligations
- Maintenance obligations
Bylaws establish the daily governance of the association on things like:
- Frequency of Board Meetings
- Duties of Board Members
- Election Processes Number of Board Members
Rules & Regulations typically further explain and/or narrow down the expectations that are in the CC&Rs. These are also sometimes known as Design Guidelines.
How do I find my CC&Rs?
When purchasing a home in an HOA, a copy of the homeowners' associations CC&Rs should be provided by the seller, real estate agent, or developer. Purchasers are required to sign a disclosure document stating they have received, read and agree to abide by the governing documents.
If a homeowner has lost or misplaced their CC&Rs,check the HOA’s website, inquire with your association's management company, or if your community is self-managed, reach out to the association’s Board of Directors to request a copy.
What are HOA fees?
HOA fees, also known as HOA assessments, dues, and maintenance fees, are money collected from each member (homeowner) of an HOA to pay for and maintain common areas and amenities. The more stuff the HOA provides, the more money it costs to maintain.
What do HOA fees cover?
Money collected through assessments is used for a variety of purposes that benefit the community and support its operation. This would include maintaining the common areas – expenses such as landscaping, water and electricity, pest control, and insurance. These funds also pay for professional management fees and other expense items as outlined in the governing documents. Your management company will be happy to provide a copy of the budget with expense items listed if the association members want to review it.
What happens if I don't pay my HOA Fees?
After multiple attempts to notify the owner of the delinquency, the CC&Rs provide an automatic lien. The association Board of Directors has the option to record the lien by filing a notice of lien with the county recorder for the county the home is located. After that, collection activities – including turning the matter over to a collection agency or attorney – could follow. If there are common areas, those facilities' usage privileges may be suspended until the delinquency is satisfied.
AAM Fun Fact
Customers under AAM management can easily find their CC&Rs and all community documents using the AAM All Access App.