Community associations have a lot in common with municipal governments. As members of a governing body -- and typically also members of the homeowner’s association -- HOA board members should meet regularly to discuss and vote on important community issues, like paying the Association’s bills, funding reserves and contracting with vendors to keep community amenities in good repair. The Board makes decisions about these and other important topics using a democratic process.
There is some basic information about homeowners associations that anyone considering buying a home should know about. If you’re considering buying a home and you learn its part of a homeowners association, you’ll want to make sure you know what to expect when being part of an HOA community. Each Association community is unique, but they all have similarities such as requiring membership dues, following the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), and a board of directors that governs the Association. You can get answers from some common questions you may have – and that should you know – about homeowners associations in the article excerpt below.
A common question homeowners in an HOA ask is, "What Does the HOA maintain in our Community?” Usually, this comes with a bit of anger behind the question. Unless the CC&Rs provide otherwise, the homeowners association is responsible for repairing, replacing, or maintaining the common areas, while owners are responsible for maintaining their separate interests and any exclusive use common area.
If you’re a member of an HOA board, you probably know that having insurance for your homeowners association is a necessity to protect the HOA and its members. But do you know what type of insurance you need to have or what the Association is responsible for and what the individual homeowner is responsible for? It can be a confusing topic to understand, especially if you have outdated CC&Rs – or haven’t even read your CC&Rs.
Have you ever driven through a neighborhood and notice how run down it looks with unkempt yards, peeling paint on structures, and bumpy roads? It's unappealing to potential buyers and frustrating for homeowners.
The risks of not having enough HOA reserve funds for your community are as serious as the risks of not having enough emergency savings for your family. Imagine needing to pay for college tuition increases or costly medical expenses without having enough money set aside to do so. Now imagine fellow homeowners having their family budgets crushed by emergency assessments because there aren't enough HOA reserve funds for repairs. They’ll likely call you as a board member to complain!
Why not avoid these situations altogether? Having HOA reserve funds readily available “just in case” offers you and your fellow homeowners financial peace of mind.
How is your homeowners association holding up? Do you have buildings in need of repair? Has the HOA board set aside funds for inevitable future repairs? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, then it’s time to find out. Why? Because it’s the Board’s job to protect and maintain the association and keep it safe. Sometimes, the safety of lives is even at stake. You don’t want to wait for something bad to happen before taking action, like one homeowners association did in Florida. Read more in the article excerpt below.
The staff or volunteers you may see occasionally walking around the community with clipboards or tablets are the homeowners association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe, and that nothing is reducing property values or the quality of life in your community.
You ran for the board on the platform of remodeling the clubhouse that has become outdated. What you haven’t shared with the members of the association is that your daughter is getting married next year and the clubhouse would be the perfect place for a reception.
There is often a member of the HOA board who doesn’t recognize that the Association needs help beyond what the Board can do on its own. Sometimes the hard part is convincing other members of the board to invest the time and resources available to hire a manager and how it will benefit the Association in the long run. So, what will help make your case when making the suggestion to hire a management company? We’ve spelled it out for you below.