What Does HOA Mean?
Homeowners Association (HOA) is a term used in the United States to describe a private community of homes. A homeowners association is typically formed by developers when they are planning to build a residential area, such as a suburb or gated community. The developer will create the CC&Rs and turn over the management of the HOA to the homeowners after the houses have been built and sold.
The purpose of an HOA is to maintain property values and uphold certain standards within the community. This means that, as a member of an HOA, you will be required to follow certain rules and regulations regarding your property. For example, you may be required to get approval from the HOA before making any changes to your home’s exterior.
What Are CC&Rs?
CC&Rs are the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions that govern your HOA. These legal documents contain the rules and regulations for your community. The CC&Rs are created by the developer of your community, and they are enforced by the HOA board.
The CC&Rs will detail everything from how properties can be used to what type of changes can be made to the exterior of homes. It is important that you take the time to read and understand your HOA’s CC&Rs before you purchase a home in a planned community.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs)
If you are a homeowner in a planned community, it is important that you understand the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) for your neighbourhood. These legal documents contain the rules and regulations that govern how your community is run. In this blog post, we will explain what CC&Rs are and guide you through the process of understanding your HOA’s legal documents.
CC&Rs are legally binding documents that are recorded with the county. They are enforceable by the HOA and usually cannot be changed without the approval of a supermajority of the homeowners in the community. The CC&Rs will spell out things like how the common areas can be used, what types of structures can be built on individual lots, and what type of maintenance is required for both homes and common areas.
One of the most important things to understand about your CC&Rs is that they supersede local zoning ordinances. So, even if your city or county allows certain types of uses or structures, if those uses or structures are not permitted in the CC&Rs, then they cannot be built in your community.
If you are a homeowner in an HOA, it is important that you take the time to read and understand the CC&Rs for your community. These documents will provide you with a clear understanding of what is and is not allowed in your neighbourhood. If you have any questions about the CC&Rs, be sure to reach out to your HOA for clarification. Understanding your legal documents is an important part of being a responsible homeowner and good neighbour.
By following the rules laid out in the CC&Rs, homeowners can help to ensure that their community remains a desirable place to live. Violating the CC&Rs can result in fines or even legal action by the HOA. So, it is important that all homeowners take the time to familiarize themselves with the rules of their community.
If you are looking to buy a home in an HOA, be sure to review the CC&Rs before making an offer. This will help you to understand what you are and are not able to do in the community. You can usually find the CC&Rs on the HOA website or by contacting the HOA directly.
When buying a home in an HOA, it is also important to review the financial documents for the association. These documents will provide you with information on things like annual dues, special assessments, and reserve funds. Reviewing these documents will help you to understand what it costs to live in your desired community and whether or not the HOA is financially healthy.
Common CC&R Restrictions and Requirements
There are a few common CC&R restrictions and requirements that you will see in most HOAs. These include:
Restrictions on the use of your property:
Most HOAs will have restrictions on how you can use your property. For example, you may not be allowed to operate a business out of your home or make any significant changes to the exterior of your property without approval from the HOA.
In addition to restrictions on how you can use your property, there may also be restrictions on what you can do with your property. For example, some HOAs have rules about landscape requirements, noise levels, and pet ownership.
This can include things like limiting the number of pets you can have, where you can park your car, or what type of renovations you can make to your home.
Another common CC&R requirement is that homeowners must maintain their property in a certain way. This can include things like keeping your lawn trimmed, shovelling your sidewalk in the winter or painting your house every few years.
Your HOA may also require you to keep up with certain maintenance tasks, like landscaping or painting your home.
Most HOAs require homeowners to pay monthly or annual dues. These dues are used to cover the costs of maintaining the common areas of the community, like the swimming pool or clubhouse.
In addition to monthly dues, you may also be required to pay a special assessment if your HOA needs to raise money for a major project, like repairing the roof of the clubhouse.
Parking of Vehicles:
Many HOAs have rules about where and how you can park your vehicles. For example, you may not be allowed to park your RV on the street or in your driveway. You may also be required to get a permit from the HOA before you can park your boat or trailer in the community.
Use of Common Spaces and Shared Facilities:
Most HOAs have common spaces, like a swimming pool, clubhouse, or park, that are shared by all the homeowners in the community. There may be rules about how these spaces can be used. For example, you may not be allowed to host a party at the clubhouse without approval from the HOA.
Some HOAs also have shared facilities, like a fitness centre or library, that require a key or code to access. You may need to get permission from the HOA before you can use these facilities.
Garbage Collection and Handling:
Most HOAs have rules about how garbage should be collected and handled. For example, you may be required to put your trash in specific containers or to keep your recycling bin out of sight. You may also be required to pay for garbage collection services through your HOA dues.
Sources of Energy:
Some HOAs have rules about the sources of energy that can be used in the community. For example, you may not be allowed to install a wind turbine or solar panels without approval from the HOA.
You may also be required to use specific types of energy, like natural gas or electricity, for your home.
Penalties for Violating the CC&Rs
One of the most common penalties for violating the CC&Rs is a fine. Your HOA may charge you a fine if you violate one of the rules or regulations in the CC&Rs.
Suspension of Privileges:
Your HOA may also suspend your privileges, like using the swimming pool or accessing the clubhouse, if you violate the CC&Rs.
Loss of Property Value:
Another potential penalty for violating the CC&Rs is that your property value could decrease. This is because buyers may be less interested in buying a home in an HOA that has strict rules and regulations.
If you violate the CC&Rs and don’t pay the associated fine, your HOA may place a lien on your property. This means that you will have to pay the fine plus interest before you can sell or refinance your home.
In some cases, your HOA may foreclose on your home if you violate the CC&Rs. This is usually only done in extreme cases, like if you stop paying your HOA dues or assessments.
HOA Monthly Dues and Assessments
One of the most important aspects of CC&Rs is that they outline the monthly dues and assessments that all homeowners are required to pay. These dues go towards the upkeep of common areas, such as the swimming pool or clubhouse.
Assessments are special fees that may be levied by the HOA in order to fund major repairs or improvements to the community. It is important to understand how much you will be responsible for paying each month so that you can budget accordingly.
Understanding Your CC&Rs
The first step in understanding your CC&Rs is to obtain a copy from your HOA. Once you have a copy, take some time to read through it carefully. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your HOA board or property manager for clarification.
It is also good to keep up with any changes or amendments to the CC&Rs. Your HOA should notify you of any changes in writing, and you can typically find a copy of the updated documents on the HOA’s website.
By understanding your CC&Rs, you can make sure that you are following the rules and regulations of your community. This will help to ensure that your community is well-maintained and running smoothly.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the legal documents that govern how your homeowners’ association is run. These documents outline the monthly dues and assessments that all homeowners must pay, as well as the rules and regulations for the community. By understanding your CC&Rs, you can make sure that you are following the rules and help to keep your community running smoothly.
Do you have any questions about CC&Rs? Leave a comment below or contact us today! We would be happy to help you understand your HOA’s legal documents.