What Is a Homeowner Association (HOA)?
A homeowner association (HOA) is an group that develops and enforces rules and regulations for a subdivision, planned community, or condominium development. Buyers who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Some associations can be very restrictive about what members can do with their properties.
An HOA usually consists of a board of directors elected to enforce and oversee the HOA’s rules and regulations. An HOA will typically describe its rules and guidelines in a document called a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs set certain conditions for owners about the property maintenance such as structural restrictions–the type of fences allowed–or more minor aesthetics, such as the color of paint on a house or roof design. A CC&R document may also outline the penalties for violating the guidelines set forth in the CC&R. The penalties range from fees to forced compliance or in some cases, even litigation.
Individual HOAs will have different levels of legal powers, depending on how they were created. However, generally speaking HOAs will have the legal authority to create and enforce other community policies, such as smoking in public places, pet policies, or on rental restrictions.
There are occasions when homeowners and the Homeowner Association do not see eye-to-eye, which often leads to a Homeowner Association dispute. Having a full and detailed understanding of Homeowner Association Law can help the Homeowner Association from overstepping their authorities, dramatically reducing potential litigation disputes. For the homeowner, this same insight may aid in ensuring their legal rights are not violated.
Both the homeowner and Homeowner Association have rights, responsibilities, and protections under Florida Law. Being informed is in the best interest of the homeowner and a Homeowner Association.
Talk to Our Florida Homeowner Association Lawyers
If you are in a new development community and are forming a new Homeowner Association, our law firm can help you ensure the Association is set up properly, is properly registered as a Florida Corporation, and provide guidance in understanding Florida Homeowner Association Laws. Our HOA lawyers can also assist you in updating and revising your association’s documents.
Learn more about how our Naples and Marco Island HOA attorneys can help you through the Florida legal process. Arrange a consultation by calling Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. at 239-649-6555 or send us an e-mail today.