Owning a home is not similar to owning any other asset, particularly if you own one located in a locality governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA). These are the organizations that govern the residents of a locality and ensure that they follow a set of rules and regulations created for their welfare. At the same time, these rules may not be appreciated by all the residents because they can curb their freedom to some extent. Disputed between homeowners and HOA happen all the time and both the parties may need the services of a specialized attorney to represent them legally. If you are planning to buy a home in an HOA-governed area, here are a few Homeowners Association facts that you should know.
- HOAs may stop you from renting out your home
Some associations curb rentals in the locality because they do not favor rental residents as they may not adhere to the regulations. So if you may want to rent out your home in the future, you may be in a fix if the HOA prohibits rentals. This may not happen with all HOAs but you should clarify it before investing in a property in such an area.
- Your monthly expenses may increase because of HOA regulations
Buying a home means that you have to pay a monthly mortgage amount which is fixed for every month. But it is not the same with an HOA-governed property because they may impose special assessments for your home at any point in time. Such unforeseen expenses are usually significant in amount and can topple your monthly budgets.
- You may face some additional fines
Another fact that you must know about Homeowners Associations is that they may put you at the risk of disciplinary fees and fines. These may be because of some trivial matters such as not maintaining your lawn or not getting the house painted within a specified time. You may have to seek HOA permission for installing a satellite in your home otherwise you may have to pay fine.
- HOA may impose restrictions on landscaping
Even if you are the owner of your home, you may need to get permission from the HOA if you plan to landscape. These associations are responsible for maintaining a certain standard for the houses that come in their scope. This means that you will need to adhere to the landscaping features that have been established by them and non-adherence may lead to fines and disputes.
- They may even have some rules for pet owners
If you are a pet lover, you have to do an extra bit of research before buying a home in an HOA-governed locality. While some can prohibit pets completely, others have strict rules related to the breeds permitted, pet shelters and habits. Beware if you have your dog barking all night or your cat jumping the neighbor’s fence. You may end up paying heavy fines or even need to relocate your beloved pet if the HOA orders so.
As disputed between homeowners and HOAs become common, there is demand for HOA lawyers to handle such cases. ASG Legal is a reputed firm where you can avail the services of expert Homeowners and Condo Association Lawyers. These are the professionals who specialize in this domain and have experience in representing homeowners as well as HOAs.
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