Property Management

How Much Power Does a Homeowners Associations Have Over Your Property?

How Much Power Does a Homeowners Associations Have


Nearly 60 million Americans have a home that falls under the domain of a homeowners association. The purpose of an HOA is to look out for the interest of a group of properties that have share something in common. Often, homeowners wonder just how much power the association has over their property. Here are the major things that the HOA gets to decide, and what you can do about them.

1. Set the assessments

The homeowners association decides the amount of your monthly assessment, taking into consideration building reserves and projected expenditures. This category includes the dreaded “special assessment” – an additional sum that the HOA can demand from its homeowners when unplanned for expenses arise.

2. Approve Maintenance and Projects

Small repairs are usually the domain of the property manager, but any larger maintenance projects that affect more than one home usually have to be approved by the homeowners association.

3. Write the Building Rules

Homeowners associations vary in the level of control they want to exercise over the property (that’s why it’s important to do your homework before you buy a condo). Building rules can range from the harmless late night noise restrictions, to pet policies, to forbidding the renting of the units.

The important thing to remember is that as an HOA exists for the benefit of the homeowners, and that the board can’t make any big decisions without the vote of all the owners. If you’re unsatisfied with a simple “Yes/No” vote on issues, as an owner you have the right to run to be elected on the homeowners association board. If you succeed, you can attempt to change any rules you disagree with from within – if the other owners think your idea is in their best interest, you’ll probably be able to get an approval vote.


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