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What is HOA?

HOA stands for homeowner association, which is a group of homeowners within a certain community or neighborhood that makes and enforces rules and regulations for their community. The rules in place have to abide by state and federal laws and act as supplemental rules only for community members.

Before making a purchase, it’s important to find out about the presence of an HOA and the rules you will have to follow to ensure that you are willing to abide by everything with your new property. 


Normally, memberships for these types of associations are mandatory if you have a house or apartment within the jurisdiction of an HOA. When you purchase a property, you should automatically become a member. How involved you are with the HOA can depend on the community and personal preference. Some members are highly involved and may serve in HOA leadership, but other members might only come to mandatory meetings and pay the mandatory fees. 


In every HOA, there is a board of directors or some sort of governing body that is elected to oversee the community and enforce the rules and regulations set in place. Sometimes the board of directors is chosen via an election process, and other times, it is done on a voluntary basis. The board is in charge of organizing member meetings, creating and maintaining the budget and enforcing community rules and regulations.  

Rules and regulations

The rules and regulations for each community differ, but they normally are about managing the aesthetics of the community. The rules will be explicitly written in a formal document along with the penalties for breaking the rules. Some examples of common rules and regulations are noise policies, short term rental restrictions, lawn regulations, architectural and decoration controls and home maintenance standards.

If any of the rules are broken, then the property owner may be subject to penalties or even a trial. The penalties can be in the form of fines or can even result in being kicked out of the community for a refusal to comply.