Community Association Answers
By: Shelley Grover, HOA Solutions Inc.
Who decides whether a community will be an HOA?
Forming an HOA isn’t necessarily decided by one person/group. If a city will not maintain the open space areas in a community, an HOA must be formed to take on that role. If there are private roads, an HOA must be formed to own the roads, and maintain them. If there is no open space or roads to maintain, sometimes a developer will form and HOA anyway because they want to see the properties maintained and built a certain way, which they can control through the creation of an HOA and the CC&R’s.
Can an HOA be dissolved? How would a community go about dissolving one?
The CC&R’s will specify how to dissolve the HOA. A vote would be required with 67% to 100% of members required to agree on dissolving, plus lender approval. However, before an HOA can attempt a vote, there are many steps that must occur first, especially if there is common area (land the HOA owns and maintains). The board must work through everything the HOA owns and maintains and find other entities, such as the city, to be willing to take the areas over should a vote succeed. The board must work with the HOA’s attorney through the process. Most managers will never experience this process. It is rare for an HOA to be able to dissolve, especially if it has common area.
What would you suggest to people who are not happy with their HOA?
Get involved. If you are not on the board, attend meetings anyway. If you can, run for the board. Volunteer if you are not elected. Help however you can. If you really can’t get involved and don’t like it, you should consider a move to a community that does not have an HOA.
If you like to maintain your property, have pride of ownership that reflects this and you want everyone to follow the rules, an HOA is perfect for you. If you do not want someone telling you what to do – and can’t handle that at all – then don’t live in an HOA.
I personally moved to a non-HOA area because when I did live in one, I hated it – – didn’t want anyone telling me what to do, and at the same time, was mad that my neighbors wouldn’t follow the rules.
HOAs serve a purpose and are a perfect match for some. The key is to educate yourself and make the decision, hopefully before you buy a home!
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