What HOAs Can and Cannot Do

Real estate developers create homeowners associations (HOAs) to manage a community of single family homes, townhouses, or condominiums. When you purchase property that is part of an Arizona HOA, you are obligated to live according to the rules established by the association and are subject to an assessment – which is typically monthly – that contributes to the general upkeep and maintenance of the community. Although Arizona homeowners associations have the authority to enforce certain covenants, conditions, restrictions (CC&Rs) and manage common elements of the community, there are some things they can do, and others they cannot do. These details are discussed below.

What Can HOAs Do?

  • The homeowners association can set the standards of your home. They can decide what paint color you use for your home, where you park your vehicle, the kind of landscaping you use on your front yard, whether you can dry your clothes outside on a hanging line, building tree houses and swings, and how long you can decorate your house during the holiday season.
  • These associations handle disputes between people living in the community. For example, the association can contact a resident with a loud house party or a barking dog.
  • A homeowners association can move to foreclose your home if you do not pay the set association fees.
  • HOAs manage the general upkeep of shared amenities and any common areas in the community such as pools, tennis courts etc., to ensure that the neighborhood stays in good condition.
  • Homeowners association fees are used to maintain the residents’ quality of life and also guard property values for all the homeowners.

What Can’t HOAs Do?

The rules set by the association should not violate federal or state laws, like fair housing rules including ADA and Fair Housing Act regulations. For example, the association does not have the power to ban the display of the national flag, but they do have the power to restrict the flag’s size.

Positive Aspects of Living in an HOA

There are several advantages that come with living in a development that is controlled by a homeowners association such as:

  • Access to well-maintained shared amenities like manicured lawns, freshly painted walls, good lighting, and clean playgrounds for children etc.
  • Aesthetically pleasing houses
  • Disputes between neighbors are mediated by the homeowners association aiding in preventing community quarrels
  • Community bonding between the residents and heightened community pride
  • A well-managed homeowners association has funds available to finance future repairs and neighborhood improvements
  • Common areas in the development are looked after by trained professionals

In general, there are pros and cons that come with living in a community that is managed by a homeowners association. According to a survey conducted in 2012 by Community Associations Institute, most of the 63 million people who stay in such communities reported that they were pleased with the organizations. For ultimate satisfaction in your home buying process, make sure that your HOA is governed by our Arizona HOA management company at City Property Management. Please call us for more information at (602) 437-4777.

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