A homeowners association (HOA) is a legal entity that is responsible for helping to maintain a property in a development. HOAs are found in apartment complexes, condos, townhouses and houses in developments. HOAs can have a direct impact on your property interest, so it is important to have a complete understanding of their function and rights before agreeing to purchase a property subject to an HOA. When it comes to purchasing or selling a home within an HOA jurisdiction contacting a local CT real estate attorney can make your life easier as they can navigate the red tape that follows the association.
HOAs are responsible for maintaining the property in accordance with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. These are written statements regarding the rights and duties of the HOA. HOAs help a community look its best and function smoothly. They can also help improve property values.
HOAs may maintain common areas and pay for features including:
The responsibilities of the HOA and what HOA fees cover should be included in a written agreement. Additionally, what the HOA covers depends on the type of structure, such as whether it is a condo, townhouse or detached home.
A person generally does not have a choice whether to opt-out of an HOA. If he or she purchases property covered by an HOA, the buyer automatically becomes a member of the HOA.
The HOA may establish rules that affect how you and your neighbors live. Some possible rules may include:
The possible rules and restrictions can significantly vary by which HOA is responsible for the property.
To fund the repairs and maintenance, HOAs typically collect dues from residents in the development. These may be monthly or annual dues. Additionally, HOAs may be able to assess additional fees if there were unanticipated financial needs. If a homeowner does not pay fees, the HOA may have the right to place a lien on the property and potentially force a sale in order to have the lien paid off. If it progresses to that state then having a real estate lawyer in your corner to fight for you and to go over your options can make a world of difference.