Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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What should residents know about your HOA?

If you are a HOA representative, you probably have experience with Missouri homeowners contesting the rules of your HOA. Even though newcomers may appear to give homeowners’ association rules a good review before they buy a home in a HOA neighborhood, it may not be long before new residents chafe at the requirements. One way to cut down on conflict between homeowners and your HOA is to make sure new homeowners are aware of how your HOA operates and what it requires before they move in.

Per, when a newcomer starts investigating your HOA, it is a good idea for them to learn about the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) of your HOA. Basically, a new home owner should know your HOA rules, what is prohibited, and what kind of changes can be made to a house. If the rules are simple, a prospective new resident may have no problem buying a home in your neighborhood. Rules that are more complex, however, could alienate potential new residents.

While chatting with a potential new resident, be sure that you describe how your HOA enforces its rules. This includes whether you send out letters of notification when a property owner is in violation of a rule. Prospective residents should know how they will be notified and under what conditions, and also about any fines your HOA may levy. People that do not agree with the enforcement and fines of your HOA may opt to move elsewhere.

The frequency of HOA board meetings may also influence a homeowner to join your community or pass it by. Some people have no problem with infrequent board meetings, while others want a board that meets regularly and is quicker to respond to resident complaints. Questions about HOA dues may also come up. A person may want to judge whether the services offered by the HOA are worth the costs of paying the dues before moving in.

Ultimately, a homeowners’ association with members who know what they are getting into before moving in can help create greater harmony in the neighborhood since your HOA will be made up of more members who agree with its rules and enforcement. Keep in mind that this article is written to inform readers about homeowner association law and is not to be taken as legal counsel for any legal dispute.

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