Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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What does a Homeowners Association regulate?

In Missouri, many neighborhoods have a Homeowners Association (HOA). These associations help keep communities coherent, manage funds, and can even determine the outward appearance of a neighborhood. Unfortunately, because HOAs essentially "manage" the neighborhood, you could find yourself running into disputes with your resident homeowners if you are part of it.

FindLaw takes a look at just some of the areas that a Homeowners Association may regulate. This can include additional fixtures on a person's property, like tool sheds and mailboxes. Determining what materials are okay for use in renovation (like the shingles, exterior paint, and siding) may also be up to the HOA, along with landscaping decisions. Finally, pet-related matters and structures for children like basketball hoops also fall under HOA jurisdiction.

In order to help maintain and reinforce management over the neighborhood, the HOA often has a system of payment collection. Homeowners will pay you a certain amount of money per month, which goes into a fund. This fund is then used if you run into any unexpected expenses. However, most homeowners are not aware of the fact that HOAs must have a certain amount of cash in reserve. If you dip below that level, many HOAs will have to raise the monthly dues. Unfortunately, this can lead to accusations of misappropriated funds. When homeowners become agitated about money, they tend to air their grievances about everything else, as well. 

If you are a member of an HOA who is currently struggling to handle disputes with homeowners in your neighborhood, you may want to contact an attorney. They can help you navigate through the situation in a way that leaves as little ill-will behind as possible.

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