Your Commitment as a Homeowner
A Homeowners’ Association (or HOA) is a corporation that governs planned residential developments, townhouses, or condos. Once someone purchases property in an area or building that is governed by an HOA, the homeowner automatically becomes a member and must pay fees and follow HOA rules.
Read and comply with the community’s governing documents.
You should have received a package of documents well before you closed on your home. If you didn’t, check the association’s website or ask the manager or a member of the board for copies. Make sure you understand what’s included in them, particularly the rules about pets, parking, your home’s exterior maintenance, architectural guidelines and when you must pay association assessments.
Provide current contact information to association board members or the manager.
Make sure they know how to reach you in case of an emergency, and ask them to notify you of association meetings and other important events. If you rent out your home, provide contact information for your tenants also for use in an emergency.
Maintain your property according to established standards.
The community’s appearance can add value to all the homes within it including yours so it’s important to keep landscaping neatly groomed and your home’s exterior well maintained.
Treat association leaders honestly and respectfully.
Board members are homeowners—just like you—who have volunteered to give their time and energy freely to govern the community. While you should share your concerns about the community with them, do so in a way that’s constructive, informative and helpful.
Attend board meetings and vote in community elections.
Board meetings are open to all who wish to sit in and keep up with issues under discussion. The association is a democracy, and your voice and vote can affect important issues.
Pay association assessments and other obligations on time.
Your regular assessments pay for common-area maintenance, amenities and other shared expenses. If you don’t pay on time, the burden for paying your portion of the association’s bills, like water, electricity and trash removal, falls on your neighbors.
Contact a board member or the manager, if you’re having problems, to discuss alternative payment arrangements.
Ensure that tenants, visiting relatives and friends adhere to all rules and regulations.
If you are leasing your home, you’re liable for maintaining the condition of the home and for the behavior of those who live in it. Make sure to screen tenants thoroughly, and familiarize them with the community’s rules.