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What is a Homeowners Association? (HOA)

Today, homeowners associations can be found in every state across the US. A homeowners’ association (HOA) is a non profit entity that has been created and implemented by a real estate developer in order to manage a development property as well as to maintain legal and financial responsibility for the development property. The task of the homeowners association is to maintain the common areas in the community that is located within the development property. This can include: enforcing the established rules and regulations of the community as well as managing and selling the homes located on the developed land. The functions of the homeowners’ organization can include: maintaining upkeep of the property such as landscaping and street maintenance, as well as maintaining common areas such as recreational facilities, parks, and community centers. The homeowners association replaces the real estate developer as the sole legal and financially accountable organization that is tasked with maintaining the development property and its common areas.

The growth of homeowners associations is relatively new. In the early 1960’s, there was a significant increase in common interest development communities in the United States. This included condominiums, cooperative apartments, and planned family housing units. In 1963, the Federal Housing Administration approved federal home mortgage insurance in residential subdivisions and condominiums that had a legitimate homeowners association. In the 1970’s, there was a considerable increase in the price of land which caused many developers to condense their home developments into smaller areas where there was an existing homeowner association, or where a homeowners association could be created. Municipal governments realized more revenue could be brought in with homeowners associations so they began to encourage homeowner associations. The enactment of the U.S. Clean Water Act of 1977 also influenced developers to create homeowners associations as the water detention areas served multiple homes. Part of the homeowners associations’ job is to uphold the federal government approved water detention areas.

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Protect from Home Owners Association

Before the sale of the homes in the developed area takes place, the real estate developer will incorporate a homeowners association. All of the terms and conditions of the association are documented when the land is subdivided. When a homeowner buys a home managed by a homeowners association, he or she will sign a contract agreeing to the association’s particular terms and conditions. Rules, regulations, and the terms and conditions will vary from homeowners association to homeowners association. Each member of the association is required to pay association dues. The fees collected from each homeowner are used to maintain the development community such as maintenance of the common areas, security, insurance for the common owned facilities and structures, and expenses associated with the management of the homeowners association. Homeowners associations are beneficial for people who want community structure. Being a member of a homeowners association come with its advantages and disadvantages. It basically depends on one’s personal preferences. Before becoming a member of a homeowners association, it is important to thoroughly read through the rules and regulations to make sure you can live with any restrictions outlined in the agreement.

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