One of the main purposes of a homeowners association is to maintain the common areas in a neighborhood like the parks and roads. The homeowners in turn are obliged to pay their dues to sustain these amenities. Often, these can be from $100 to $10,000 per year, based on the kind of neighborhood and their amenities. Moreover, not only do the residents have to pay their HOA dues, but they also are required to follow the rule book of the association.
The different regulations implemented by the association differ in each neighborhood but will most likely include your house color, trees you plant, your parking area and if you will have your house rented. Once these regulations are not followed, these homeowners have to pay a fine that is based on the broken rule.
To top it off, these associations even implement foreclosure if residents fail to pay their dues and fines. A study by the Sentinel Fair House reported that about 18 percent foreclosure activities in the five counties studied were caused by homeowners associations. About 70 houses in these five counties where foreclosed for less than $2,500 including legal fees.
Many homeowners are actually satisfied with their associations said Frank Rathbun, spokesperson of the Community Association Institute. These homeowners associations provide good amenities to the residents and even protect property values.
Critics however present an alternative opinion concerning these associations. They say that neighborhoods with homeowners association must offer more disclosure on the different restrictions and laws. One resident even said that it is essentially giving up your property rights when you.
Usually, home buyers do not have a copy of the rules and regulations of the association until after they move in. If they do not ask for the rules of the neighborhood, they will not have a clear idea of what consequences they might be facing and it will be too late to back out.
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