Demystifying the Myths about Homeowners Association

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A Homeowners Association (HOA) is a self-governing organization in a planned community or condominium building where an elected board of directors makes and enforces rules for the properties and residents.

HOAs are governed by a set of bylaws enforced by the board of directors elected through HOA elections.

HOA elections are held at an annual meeting, and homeowners (members of the HOA) vote on who they prefer to be a member of the board and its executive roles, including president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary.

Statistics of HOA residents

The number of people living in a HOA has consecutively increased year-on-year over almost two decades. A Foundation for Community Association Research report showed that over 46 million people live in HOAs.

Despite the yearly increase in HOA residents, many people will prefer not to live in one, mainly due to misconceptions widely spread by those who do not understand how HOAs work.

Also, to be fair to them, some of the dissatisfied HOA residents who discourage others from living in one might be victims of a power-hungry board of directors. However, this is a specific case and should not be generalized, as HOA board members are just homeowners trying to keep their neighbourhood decently running. In an efficiently managed HOA, systems are in place to eliminate a power-hungry board of directors.

HOA responsibilities

HOA members are charged a fee in exchange for the maintenance and enhancement of the community.

Some of the responsibilities of a HOA include:


The HOA management usually maintains common areas like community pools, parking lots, party spaces, and snow removal.

Some HOA fees may also cover the cost of trash collection and certain utilities.


Efficient security is a collective effort of every member of a HOA. Nevertheless, the HOA management is expected to play a significant role. HOA security responsibilities include repairing and maintaining safety and security equipment in the neighbourhood.

Members can sue if they suffer any injury or assault due to the failure of the HOA to play its part.

Investigation of complaints

HOA rules are designed to be enforced. Neighbours are also expected not to inconvenience or endanger others.

The board of directors is saddled with the responsibility of investigating complaints filed by homeowners.


Disagreement is unavoidable in any community. For instance, there might be an issue between a tenant and a landlord. The HOA may get involved to ensure the matter is resolved amicably.


The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are rules governing the community to improve property value, safety, and proper maintenance.

The HOA ensures all community members abide by the rules and sanction defaulters appropriately.

Myths and Facts about the Homeowners Association

Myths are not facts; unfortunately, these misconceptions usually spread faster to the extent that many believe them accurate.

This, however, does not mean living in a homeowners association has no disadvantages. Here are some myths about HOA with facts to debunk them:

HOAs are best for older people

The comfort offered by HOAs and the strictness of board directors to ensure members comply with its rules gave some people the impression it is best for older people and not adventurous young homeowners.

This is not true. A significant percentage of homeowners in HOAs are millennials and Gen Zers.

CC&Rs are too stringent and deprive members of liberty

The rules and regulations vary for different HOAs. Before joining a HOA, it is recommended that you read through the CC&Rs and only choose a neighbourhood with laws you are comfortable with.

These regulations are designed to improve property values, promote harmony, and prevent problems.

A board makes all decisions of directors.

Even though this is true, the property owners elect the board of directors. This, however, does not empower them to make decisions that will inconvenience residents or endanger their lives and properties.

Members of the boards are also residents of the community and your next-door neighbour. This offers easy access to interact and complain about any policy you do not like. Also, their tenure is temporary; they can be voted out.

Avoid HOAs with high fees.

HOAs fees are one of the first things potential homebuyers check. While it is excellent to avoid exorbitant prices, it is equally important to find out what the management spends the fees on.

The high fees might be because the HOA has many amenities that need maintenance.

HOA rules cannot be adjusted

Some HOA rules need not be altered or removed. Likewise, others may no longer be relevant or justifiable based on present realities.

The board members can review and change the association regulations outlined in the bylaws.

Homeowners can also request the amendment or abolition of a rule via a written request, followed by a board hearing.

Ref: 3476.30740

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