We all know about homeowner associations (HOAs). They’re essentially property management organizations for a neighborhood. In fact, many property management companies provide HOA services, like Rhino Property Management. Perhaps, your current subdivision has one. Maybe you’ve heard your realtor mention that some of the prospective homes you’re looking at have one. But what exactly does an HOA do?
It’s no secret that people have love-hate relationships with HOAs. Why? Well, some people feel like HOAs are too restrictive. Others feel like HOAs cost too much money, without having much to show. These are all negative opinions of HOAs, but the truth is that HOAs actually do some really great things for communities.
Establish Rules and Regulations
Every community has rules and regulations for the subdivision, often called covenants. These rules range from the type of structures that can be built and added on to a property to parking on the street to the color of your house to noise ordinances. These rules are spelled out in documentation for the community and everyone who purchases or rents within the community has access to these.
While some residents may take issue with these rules, they are usually quite beneficial. For instance, if a neighbor has parties every weekend until 3 a.m. with blaring music, questionable activity, and cars parked all along the street, people are going to get upset. An HOA sets guidelines that help prevent such things from happening. Now, think for a minute about the value of your property. If neighbors are not keeping up with their property and letting grass and trees get overgrown, that’s going to impact your space in a negative way. HOA’s can also step in and help when there are issues with animals or unwanted waste which can relieve much burden from the homeowners.
Uphold Rules and Regulations
Most HOAs have a list of offenses and a protocol for how they’re handled. Typically, HOAs will send out a letter first to warn the resident that they are in violation. Then, they afford the person some time to repair or fix the offense. The second time the offense is noticed may involve a fee. If the individual refuses to fix the issue, they can end up going to court and/or receiving a lien on their property.
Upkeep of Community Amenities
Maybe your neighborhood has a park, as well as a swimming pool or a clubhouse. HOAs manage the maintenance and upkeep for said areas. They make sure that the grass is cut, the park is clean and free of trash. They manage the cleaning and chemicals for the pool. If you have a clubhouse, they manage the rental or occupation of such. Again, they’re just like a property management company.
Beautify the Community
Residents are required to manage their own properties, but who cares for the trees and landscape right outside the neighborhood walls? What about the sidewalk areas or the light posts? Who repairs the surrounding fence? HOAs manage these. They hire a landscaping company or provide their own to make sure that the neighborhood has a neat, attractive appearance.
Research and Resolve Complaints
Sometimes HOAs receive complaints about individuals within the property. For instance, someone may report that individuals have too many cars parked in front of their homes or that they have unruly pets. Maybe someone has begun a project on their home that clearly is within violation. HOAs have a duty to investigate these complaints and resolve them peacefully.
Manage Financial Affairs of the HOA
HOAs collect the HOA fees and then pay for the services to manage the property.
Hold Annual Meetings
As a member of your community, you have a right to know what’s going on with your property and what the future plans are. You have a right to know about where your HOA fees go. HOAs hold an annual meeting each year and send the residents of the community notice about the meeting 1-2 months in advance. During this meeting, information is exchanged, people can ask questions, voting happens, and officers are elected.
Property management in the form of HOAs is a great thing to keep your neighborhood beautiful, welcoming, and safe. When managed properly, HOAs can help communities flourish. If your Utah community is looking for a solid property management group that provides HOA services, consider Rhino Property Management. Rhino Property Management has a long track record with proven results and can help your neighborhood get on track.