In an HOA community in Gilbert, you’re always required to pay HOA fees for shared amenities and common areas used by everyone. As a responsible homeowner, you probably pay all your dues dutifully and promptly. You might also be enjoying some of those perks in your area like the swimming pool and fitness room. But what about those amenities you’ve never used? You may not like to play tennis, so why pay for the community tennis court? But is it that simplistic? Let’s first understand how an HOA works.
The HOA objective
In every planned community in Gilbert, there has to be some kind of association to manage those parts that belong to everyone in general but no one in particular. These are the common areas or the shared areas of a community development. This association is commonly known as a homeowner’s association (HOA), and is made up of all the owners in the development. The main objective is to maintain, repair and replace these common areas. The HOA’s obligations are set forth in the governing documents of the association, for instance, the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and CC&R’s.
Deciding HOA Dues
Many times, the fees may feel excessive and burdensome to homeowners which leads many to question the payment model – paying for everything instead of only what you use. However, it’s important to understand how the HOA calculates the amount of fees it charges. Usually, it arrives at a certain figure after estimating the annual operation costs, and maintenance expenses for the shared areas. An example of such a cost is landscaping services for common parks. The HOA fees might also be informed by anticipated repairs and replacement costs. Homeowner associations are non profit organizations and the money collected in dues directly corresponds to the cost to maintain the community.
If homeowners in Gilbert start skipping payments, the HOA cannot collect all the dues required to meet the maintenance budget. If this happens, the conditions of living will quickly start deteriorating. For example, fitness equipment, lights, and clubhouse air conditioning might breakdown. The result of this is that the value of the developments as a whole, including every single property within, drops. Everyone loses.
Some HOA’s do consider allocating HOA fees according to the relative size of a homeowner’s property or properties. This is much more common in condominium developments in Gilbert, where for example, the owner of a penthouse unit may pay relatively more, but in proportion to the size of their property.
HOAs and their guidelines vary from community to community. If paying everything really does bother you, take a look at the history of the fees. Try to spot any trends that might shed some light on why the fees are as they are and reach out to your HOA management company to learn more about the budget and what the dues are being used for.