The Homeowner Association Understood
Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are nonprofit organizations dedicated to the operation, management, and maintenance of complexes or collectives of homes that might include neighborhoods, residential housing developments, and both condominium and apartment buildings. HOA members typically pay dues on a yearly or monthly basis, and these fees pay for efforts to care for shared spaces and carry out other association duties that range from enforcing official rules to hosting administrative meetings.
What All HOAs Have in Common
Although HOAs may differ dramatically from community to community, most are run by elected boards of volunteers who work with community association managers (CAMs) and/or other administrative partners to ensure that the association is performing its responsibilities in accordance with all pertinent rules, laws, and regulations.
Other similarities among all HOAs include….
Mandatory Membership – In order to ensure that all members of a community share equally in the costs as well as the benefits of their HOA, membership is mandatory if not automatic.
Legal Agreements – The documents that govern the administration and operation of every HOA include many binding agreements that hold signees legally responsible for adhering to the association’s rules.
Lien-based Assessments – The most powerful legal document in use by HOAs, the lien-based assessment give HOAs the power to take possession of a member’s home if charges go long unpaid or regulations are repeatedly ignored.
The Three Most Common Homeowner Association Types
The “homeowner association” (“HOA”) is an umbrella term that can describe many different kinds of community associations. However, the vast majority fall into one of the following three general categories.
The Planned Community – Also known as planned unit developments (PUDs), planned communities are defined by direct association ownership. Although each individual resident or family possesses their own unit and the land it stands on, the HOA wholly owns all surrounding shared spaces including infrastructure, such as roads, and recreational areas, such as parks and pools.
The Condominium Association – Individual owners in a condominium association not only possess their individual condo unit but also a percentage of common areas and shared property. The HOA itself owns none of the real estate within the community.
The Cooperative – Popularly known as “co-ops,” cooperatives are defined by agreements in which all members share ownership of private residential units as well as all shared areas and common spaces. Instead of purchasing a unit outright, owners buy a membership certificate or stock that proves their investment in the cooperative and gives them the right to occupy a specific unit.
To Learn More
As a property management company that specializes specifically in the management of HOAs and other community associations, North Point Property Management is happy to answer any questions that you might have about effective HOA structure and management. North Point operates in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine, providing comprehensive services in areas that range from real estate maintenance and upkeep to general administration and accounting. Contact us today to learn more.