In Washington state, there are over 10,000 homeowner’s associations, serving about 2.36 million people. If you’re one of these residents, you may wonder what exactly a homeowner’s association does.
Today, we’re going to look at what an HOA does as well as what its members do. Let’s get started.
What Is a Homeowner’s Association?
A homeowner’s association (HOA) is a group that creates and enforces rules for its residents and properties. Many times, HOAs are in planned developments, subdivisions, or condominium communities. They can also provide valuable services to their members.
HOA’s are run by a board of directors. An HOA board is responsible for collecting fees in order to fund maintenance and upkeep in the area. Many times, residents elect this board.
What Does a Homeowner’s Association Do?
The HOA can help keep your neighborhood clean and orderly. This creates a cohesive and inviting atmosphere. They are responsible for upholding the rules that members need to follow.
If your community offers utilities or facilities, your HOA will be in charge of the upkeep of it. They would also keep master insurance and manage any neighborhood finances.
Some HOAs offer other services. For example, yours might help maintain community grounds or even your own yard.
Sometimes HOAs work with an association management company. This can make it easier for them to fulfill their duties to their residents.
Responsibilities of HOA Members
If you purchase property in an area served by an HOA, you automatically become a member. As such, you also need to pay dues or HOA fees.
Many groups hold regular HOA meetings. While you are probably not required to attend, you may be welcomed and encouraged to be involved.
Some HOAs have rules that residents need to follow. Most often this dictates the appearance of your home and any vehicles or structures outside it. As a member, you need to follow the association's rules.
If you are non-compliant, an HOA may impose fines.
Differences from Other Similar Groups
It’s easy to confuse HOAs with community associations or property owner associations. However, there are a few differences.
Since most HOAs are incorporated, they must follow applicable state laws. In some areas, condominium-based HOAs and co-op boards may have different property interests than traditional HOAs. They are considered to fall under the broader term of “community association” along with HOAs.
The membership of property owner associations (POAs) is generally broader than that of an HOA. POAs may include anyone who wants to improve their community and the real estate values of the local properties. That means they may include people who are not homeowners but are still interested in the goal.
A community association management company is not one of these groups. Instead, they offer management services that make it easier for these community groups to function properly.
Understand Your Homeowner’s Association
If your community has a homeowner's association, it’s important that you fully understand its function. This way you can fully take advantage of its benefits and even get more involved.
If your community association is looking for HOA management services, contact Invest West Management today.