Homeowner’s Association also known as an HOA, is a private association that looks after a community’s common interest. Typically condos, gated communities, and apartment complexes have a Homeowner’s Association managing the community. It is usually comprised and run by members of its community. Statistically, 1 out of 5 residential properties in the United States is run by an HOA in 2017 and have likely increased since.
The HOA generally maintains all communal areas, common utilities, and grounds shared by the community. This can include laundry rooms, gyms, pools, and other utilities at times. Garbage removal and parking lots are also sometimes under the supervision of an HOA. Usually, a property with a lot of amenities will pay larger HOA fees. Luxury properties are also known for higher HOA fees.
Property under the supervision of an HOA may not suit all buyers. Beyond the fees involved with an HOA, there is usually a list of rules and regulations. While their strictness can vary, it can limit personal choice and the external customization of a property. At times they also exclude or restrict the number of pets in properties in their community. Typically the HOA will issue fines to non-compliant residents.
Generally, HOA’s charge a monthly fee for their services although in some cases it can be an annual fee. The fees themselves can vary sharply depending on the facilities offered and upkeep costs. If fees or fines issued are not paid in a timely manner, the HOA can place a lien on the property.