What You Need to Know About Homeowners’ Associations
Homeowners’ association are formed when a new community is constructed. Any individual who buys property here automatically becomes a member of the homeowners’ association.
A Homeowners’ Association (HOA), is the governing body of specific real property development such as a village or subdivision. It is normally formed to provide rules and regulations to be enforced on a property and manage issues such as security and maintenance or provision of services that are not taken care of by the local government.
Homeowners’ associations are formed when a new community is constructed. Any individual who buys property here automatically becomes a member of the homeowners’ association.
A membership fee is paid every month depending on the facilities or services available to the members to help maintain and improve the property.
A covenant is also signed by the members to keep and enhance the aesthetic value of the property and also to allow them to have a peaceful stay without interruptions from outsiders or other members who may cause disturbance within the premises.
Responsibilities of a homeowners’ associations include;
HOA enforces laid down rules and handles complaints from residents.
The most attractive and fulfilling part of staying in a place is good security. Most developers will want to use it as a selling point. HOA is responsible for hiring a security agency.
Maintaining the landscaping
The landscape includes every individual property within the premises. Every village or subdivision has its own unique landscape that includes the security at the entrance, individual homes fences, sidewalks, gardens, and plants.
In ordinary residences, the local government is responsible for street lighting and maintenance. However, in exclusive neighborhoods, HOA takes the responsibility. The money for the maintenance comes from the fee the members pay. It is common to see restrictions such as ‘matatus are not allowed along this road’ in streets that are maintained by homeowners’ associations.
Homeowners’ associations have directors and officers who are in charge of the associations. Their key purpose is to;
Keep homeowners informed
Residents must always be informed of any activities and issues affecting the community since they pay dues and will be affected by any decisions made.
Plan for meetings
HOAs must plan and hold regular meetings and notify residents in advance. Part of these meetings include elections and every member is entitled to vote. With the advance of technology, this information may be relied through WhatsApp groups or emails.
HOA officers and directors should always keep detailed records of activities, such as community meeting minutes. They should also keep open financial records to the members.
As much as it might seem organized, homeowners’ associations have advantages and also disadvantages. The advantages are;
Promoting goodwill and great relationships with neighbors is the core value of people living in a community under the same association.
Living in an exclusive neighborhood allows one to enjoy amenities such as a swimming pool and recreation center without incurring an extra cost. These amenities are catered for under the fee paid by members.
Residents that belong to an HOA are very much assured of good security. They go about their business knowing that they are safe.
HOA protects and maintains property under their jurisdiction hence making it appreciate in market value. The rules and regulations imposed make the neighborhood friendly, therefore attracting more homebuyers.
The disadvantages include;
Living in a well-maintained neighborhood means you have to part with something. There is always a monthly fee that also depends on the amenities provided. For instance, if the HOA feels like they want to put up something and funds are not enough then residents will have to foot the extra cost.
Restriction on renters
Some homeowners’ associations don’t give them the freedom to members to just let anyone rent their house. Renters may therefore be subjected to a rigorous screening process that some people may feel uncomfortable with.
HOA is responsible for the general outlook of the premise, so they will need any renovation to be done as soon as possible.
Being a member of a homeowners’ association does not mean lifetime membership. If a homeowner fails to pay the relevant fees, the legal process may follow up.
Forming and managing a homeowners’ association comes with a lot of responsibilities and major implications. Always make sure you understand the terms and conditions of that particular subdivision before buying property there. On the other hand, HOA is something good and what one needs to understand is that living in luxury comes at a price.