Home Owner’s Associations’ policies can vary from group to group. As a resident, buyer or lease holder, it is important to be aware of the policies that you are signing up to and the procedures available if problems arise. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
- It is very important to know what the rules and regulations are as laid down by the Home Owner’s Association. For example: as a resident will you be expected to contribute a fee and if so what will the charge be?
- As a resident make sure that you are provided with notices for meetings, and that you receive financial statements in relation to how monies are being spent.
- Neighbourly conflicts should be dealt with immediately, if not the association should be made aware of their failings.
- If one neighbour can do something and another is not, the association is not acting fairly. It is important to approach the association as such happenings can lead to awkward disputes.
- The association is responsible for repairs and if there is no evidence of follow through, there is a problem to be addressed here.
- Such things as where you want to park your car, hanging out a clothes line or flying a flag to name a few, are aspects of life that an Association can have control over. Often the paint colour of homes are also taken into their remit. This is where you as a resident or potential buyer or lease holder needs to be fully aware of what you are signing up to. Such policies may not be in line with your style of living. If rules are broken, fines can be imposed.
- Be aware that payments to the Association need to be kept up to date. It has been reported that those who majorly fell behind were evicted in some cases so as the association could collect their dues.
It is possible that you may own the house, the garden and so on, but if you are one of the 50 million Americans living in communities run by Home Owners Associations, you may find you don’t have the freedom to do everything you like on the property. As rules can become very strict, enforcement of them can lead to a lot of frustration.
There is a convincing argument for outsourcing the work of a Home Owners Association to an external company such as the Cedar Management Group. Such companies are professional in manner and have no personal involvement with the community. This in turn can assist greatly with the reduction of potential neighbourly disputes and keep a sense of fairness at play.
They also understand the legalities at play such as health and safety regulations, maintenance of amenities and buildings as well as being fully informed on any legal matters concerning residents and their rights. They act neutrally therefore avoiding bias. This offers residents a greater sense of comfort knowing that they are in safe hands.