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homeowner association law Archives

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.

What rules can't a HOA enforce?

A homeowners' association (HOA) can add a lot of value to the life of residents. However, HOAs must also adhere to certain rules and regulations to ensure they don't run afoul of the law. Realtor.com offers the following examples of unenforceable rules that all HOAs should steer clear of.

Be aware of common HOA violations

Are you among the many Missouri residents who enjoy living in a master-planned community? If so, chances are you have a homeowner’s association. This entity’s rules help keep the peace between neighbors. It also prevents properties located within its boundaries from becoming eyesores. At Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law, we often assist HOAs in protecting the interests of the community.

What should you expect from your HOA?

There are many advantages to living in an area that has a homeowner's association in Missouri. Such an organization can establish guidelines for you and your neighbors who reside in the community. These rules can help to maintain a place that is aesthetically pleasing, mutually beneficial and in accordance with city-sanctioned laws. 

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.

Understanding HOA laws and governance

If you are looking to buy a new home in Missouri, you may well be considering a property that is part of a homeowners' association. If so, it will be important for you to understand how the laws and governance of this HOA may affect your home ownership and responsibilities. An HOA is about a lot more than just paying dues and having common property cared for. 

Can the government get involved in an HOA dispute?

If you hold a position of authority in a Missouri homeowner association, you may have concerns about the possibility of government overreach. In other words, if a dissatisfied homeowner makes an appeal to the government to resolve a dispute or challenge an association rule, you may have concerns that the government will step in and undermine your autonomy. 

Filing articles of incorporation

Neighbors in Saint Charles may want to bad together to set standards for their communities through a homeowners association, yet may not want to have to tackle the complexity that comes with incorporating with the state. The danger in this is that if an unincorporated HOA is sued, each member can be held personally liable (as opposed to limiting liability to the Board of Directors). Plus, with the state paving the way for such groups to incorporate as non-profit organizations (per Section 355.025 of Missouri's Nonprofit Corporation Law), why would homeowners not want to enjoy the advantages that come with such a distinction? 

Starting an HOA

Much of your home's value is tied to the condition of your neighborhood. Maintaining a high standard requires constant communication with those that live around. Such communication can be facilitated by establishing a homeowners' association. Yet many come to members of our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law Believing that such organizations can only be started by developers or community planners. In reality, any group of neighbors can start their own HOA if they follow the right steps. 

What can’t an HOA enforce?

While homeowners’ associations (HOA) in Missouri can require individual homeowners to stick to certain rules, there are some areas that are simply out of their purview. Steering clear of making unenforceable regulations is important from a legal perspective, as doing so could result in a costly and time-consuming lawsuit. In this case, Realtor.com offers the following examples of what an HOA cannot do.

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