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What is an HOA?

An HOA, or Homeowners' Association, is a private organization typically established in planned communities, such as subdivisions, condominium complexes, and townhouse developments, to manage and govern the common areas and shared amenities of the community. Homeowners who reside within these communities are usually required to become members of the HOA and are obligated to follow the rules and regulations set forth by the association. Here are some key aspects of HOAs:

1. Maintenance of Common Areas: One of the primary functions of an HOA is to maintain and manage common areas within the community. This can include parks, swimming pools, fitness centers, roads, sidewalks, and landscaping.

2. Enforcement of Rules: HOAs establish and enforce rules and regulations governing the appearance and use of properties within the community. These rules often cover matters like architectural standards, landscaping requirements, and the use of properties for commercial purposes.

3. Collection of Dues: To fund their operations and the maintenance of common areas, HOAs collect dues or assessments from homeowners. The amount and frequency of these dues can vary widely and are typically determined by the association's budget.

4. Resolving Disputes: HOAs can mediate disputes between neighbors, often related to property use, noise complaints, or adherence to community rules.

5. Community Events and Services: Some HOAs organize community events, provide security services, or offer other benefits to enhance the quality of life for residents.

6. Governing Documents: Each HOA operates under a set of governing documents, which typically include the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), bylaws, and rules and regulations. These documents outline the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and the powers of the HOA.

7. Board of Directors: HOAs are typically governed by a board of directors, which is composed of volunteer homeowners elected by the community. The board makes decisions on behalf of the association and oversees its operations.

It's important to note that while HOAs can provide benefits such as well-maintained common areas and a sense of community, they also come with obligations and restrictions that homeowners must follow. Before purchasing a property within an HOA, it's essential to review the governing documents and understand the associated fees and rules, as they can vary widely from one community to another. Violating HOA rules can result in fines or other consequences, so it's crucial to be aware of and adhere to these regulations.

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