HOA Rules and CC&Rs: Know Your Stuff

Common misconceptions about homeowner’s associations can be detrimental to those new to the scene.

Most of the time home buyers will know whether or not they will be paying HOA dues, but they are not up to snuff when it comes to knowing what they are paying for and why there are certain restrictions. Make sure you don’t get caught up in misconceptions about your HOA by following these 7 guidelines.


1. The HOA is not out to get you. The restrictions placed on you by the HOA can seem like they are trying to make life hard on you but, “HOAs actually are set up as a corporation that benefits the membership by increasing property values and allowing each member to enjoy the common-area amenities,” said Vice President of marketing with Keystone Pacific Property Management in Irvine, California, Joe Winkler. “This can be done by reasonably enforcing the governing documents and making sure the association is clean, attractive, and provides ways for members to build a sense of community.” The HOA may seem to be controlling you a tad, but keep in mind it is what’s best for the community as a whole, as well as for yourself.

2. The HOA does not always win. The HOA does have a fair amount of power, and rightfully so, but that does not mean that they always win. Having the right people in the governing powers is the best way to ensure that your community is being properly represented by your HOA. “As a member of the corporation or community, each member has the power to elect fellow members who they feel best represent the values of the overall membership…In addition, each member can run for the board themselves or get on a committee like architectural or landscape. This is a great way to give a positive input on how the association is run,” said Winkler. If you are unhappy with your HOA, then it would be a wise decision to become a part of it so you can change it from within.

3. What you don’t know about CC&Rs can hurt you. Learn the rules before you break them. Breaking the rules in a community with an HOA can be more damaging to you than you may think. In some communities, breaking HOA rules can result in the worst case scenario of your home being foreclosed on, or the HOA placing liens on your house which will make it hard if not impossible, to sell.

4. Your vote does matter. As the saying goes, don’t vote, don’t complain. The best way to make sure you are getting a say is to vote. Voting is what makes sure your dues go to what’s most important to you individually and as a community.

5. You have power in a community even if there are only CC&Rs. “Homeowners whose CC&Rs are not being upheld can often turn to their local city or county government code enforcement,” says President of the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, Sharon Voss. Again, this is a good reason to learn the CC&Rs for your community. You can be sure that you are being taken care of, rather than taken advantage of.

6. CC&Rs are not too lenient on renters. Renting tenants tend to keep a lower profile than homeowners because they know that they are subconsciously held under tighter scrutiny. Renters usually assume that they will be kicked out easier than the actual homeowners and are therefore more inclined to keep the yard well maintained and not throw raging parties.

7. Membership in HOA is not always optional. Rarely is HOA membership optional. If you are someone who is against the idea of an HOA and believe you shouldn’t pay dues if you don’t use the community amenities, then make sure you have thoroughly done your research so you don’t come across conflicts down the road.

For Montrêux homeowners and those interested in the Montrêux community, click here to learn about the HOA Rules and CC&R’s.

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