Homeowners associations are common in various types of developments. Referred to as the "HOA," the homeowners association is the governing body of the subdivision or complex. When a person buys real property in an area that has an HOA, they are automatically a member of the association. This means that they are responsible for paying dues. Typically, these funds cover common areas like swimming pools, golf courses and recreation centers.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for abiding by the conditions and restrictions of the contract. Many HOAs have a board that governs the community. This board is responsible for managing the dues that residents pay, and may also assist in resolving issues among neighbors.
An individual homeowner violation is one of the various disputes that may arise within the HOA. If the association believes that a homeowner violated a rule, they may receive a fine. The homeowner may disagree with the decision that they violated the rules and that they must pay the association. Painting or decorating your house a certain way that is against the rules can lead to this fine.
A dispute may also arise if the HOA tries to enforce a rule that is not part of the HOA agreement. If residents believe that the association is going beyond its limits, they may become angry. This can happen if rules are being imposed on some residents rather than all of them.
Many states have implemented laws that require a dispute resolution plan within the homeowners association. Creating a way to solve internal disputes as effectively as possible takes some thought.
Research has found that a high percentage of homeowners in 2018 say their association's rules "protect and enhance their property values" while others remain neutral. Ultimately, homeowners associations are created to serve the best interests of the community it governs.