Clients: Common Interest Realty Associations: Benefits

An HOA provides people with shared neighborhood values, an opportunity to enforce regulations, consistent with overarching statutory constraints, to achieve a community representative of such values. In doing so, an HOA necessarily restricts individual property owner rights that would otherwise exist for its members based on municipal codes. For instance, a degree of conformity is often required in exterior appearance of single family homes and there are often time limits and/or restrictions to activities generating noise. These bylaws can be limited in various degrees by state laws, with some overriding federal judicial or statutory limits.

Board members or officers are elected by the homeowners, with the ability in some states for the membership to remove board members, with some difficulty, even during term. Homeowners Associations generally have meetings for the entire board and membership. These meetings are generally monthly or sometimes quarterly, and focus on handling the Homeowners Association's business. In some states, the meeting's minutes must by law be made available for viewing 24 hours a day online, requiring the HOA to launch or purchase a website.

Many homeowners' associations include management of a development's recreational amenities, maintained for exclusive use of its members. This can allow an individual homeowner access to a maintained pool, clubhouse, gym, tennis court or walking trail that they may not be able to otherwise afford to maintain on their own. Each member of a homeowners' association pays assessments that are used to cover the expenses of the development. Some examples are landscaping for the common areas, maintenance and upkeep of the subdivision's amenities, insurance for commonly owned structures and areas, mailing costs for newsletters and other correspondence, employment of a management company or on-site manager, security personnel and gate maintenance, and any other item delineated in the governing documents or agreed to by the board of directors. A survey of 709 people by Zogby International, sponsored by the Foundation for Community Association Research, an organization created by the Community Associations Institute trade association, showed that for every homeowner who rated the overall experience of living in a homeowner association as negative, seven saw it as positive.

Copyright Blythe Paperless 2011