Homeowner association (HOA) is a group of people that dictates common area and rules for all included properties. HOA rules are outlined by development document called CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions). CC&R governs all properties and common area and can enforce parking rules, paint color, pets, and more. These rules are imposed and changed by HOA board of directors, usually voted and selected by all HOA property owners.
It is important to get to know the property’s HOA because of the following:
- You cannot escape/quit the HOA(s) attached to the property.
- HOA always has fees. Some properties have multiple HOAs.
- HOAs can force owners to sell their property. (Extreme case but it can happen) Before you are forced to sell your house, HOA should give you fare amount of warnings.
- HOAs can have rules on smallest things such as color of your outdoor light bulb. Because HOA can force you to sell your property, you will have to comply.
- If you are buying an investment property, HOA can specify a limit on how many homes can be a rent out unit versus an owner occupied unit.
- (As a property owner) If you disagree with any of the HOA rules of the property, you can contact HOA board of directors or participate in HOA meetings. You can also become a member of board of directors.
Some HOAs have stricter rules than others. Usually HOAs for non single houses have stricter rules than single houses (in legal terms). All HOAs are different and therefore please refer to HOA documents for further details.