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Homeowners Association: Facts You Need to Know

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A homeowner association, often called as HOA, is a community association that oversees a specific neighborhood, assisting in the formation of local regulations and allocating cash to maintain shared places. When purchasing local property in a HOA community, homeowners automatically become members of the association and must pay monthly or yearly dues. This money is used by the HOA’s elected board of directors to improve the community and maintain shared facilities.

HOAs can exist in a variety of residential communities, including single-family home developments, planned communities, townhouse subdivisions, and condominium complexes.

Homeowners’ associations differ from property owners association (POA), which can include anybody with an interest in the property of the community and are not limited to homeowners.

Homeowners Association in the Philippines

Every homeowner association will be required to register with the HLURB. This registration shall serve to confer legal personality on all such associations that have not already obtained it through the operation of the General Corporation Law or any other general law.

The registration procedure shall be specifically provided for in the implementing rules and regulations promulgated by the HLURB in accordance with Section 28 of this Act. Such procedure shall provide for an adjudicatory mechanism that will be followed in the event of a dispute involving two (2) or more associations established within the same subdivision/ village), community/area, or housing project seeking registration. The HLURB shall consider the date each association was legally constituted, the date of filing of its application for registration, the number of members, and other comparable elements in determining this sort of dispute.

An association member has the following rights:

(a) to use and benefit from all essential community services, as well as shared places and facilities;

(b) to see the association’s books and records during office hours and to receive annual reports, including financial statements, upon request;

(c) to participate in, vote for, and be eligible for any elective or appointive office of the organization, subject to the qualifications set out in the bylaws;

(d) to demand and quickly receive deposits required by the association whenever the deposit requirement has been met or the period has elapsed;

(e) to attend association meetings, elections, and referendums for as long as his/her genuine membership exists; and

(f) to enjoy all other rights set forth in the association’s bylaws.

A member is responsible for the following tasks:

(a) pay membership dues and special assessments;

(b) to attend association meetings; and

(c) to support and participate in the association’s projects and activities.

An association has the following rights and has the following powers:

(a) Adopt and change the articles of incorporation and bylaws, rules, and regulations, in accordance with current laws and regulations, subject to consultation and approval by a simple majority of the members;

(b) Initiate, defend, or intervene in litigation and/or administrative processes affecting the welfare of the association and the subdivision/village as a whole, excluding conflicts that are not the association’s responsibility;

(c) Regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of common places, as well as cause further improvements to be made part of the common areas: Provided, however, that the foregoing do not conflict with the terms of the authorized subdivision plan.

(d) Regulate access to or passage through subdivision/village roads for the purposes of preserving privacy, tranquility, internal security, safety, and traffic order: Provided, however, that: (1) public consultations are held; (2) existing laws and regulations are met; (3) the authority of the concerned government agencies or units is obtained; and (4) the appropriate and necessary memoranda of the agreement are executed among the concerned parties.

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Basic Community Services of Homeowners Associations

Listening to residents

In order to serve the neighborhood’s common interests, homeowners’ associations must listen to everyone in the community, which is commonly done through letters, HOA meetings, or local polls.

Establishing rules

The major tools at the disposal of HOAs are CC&Rs (covenants with board members, association meetings, conditions, and restrictions), which they can write and enforce to keep the community adhering to specific standards of home design, curb upkeep, and conduct.

Fund collection and distribution

HOAs make sure to remind their members to pay membership fees and collect and distribute dues or membership fees from community members, which they then utilize to fund community programs. HOAs can either select vendors on their own or work with an HOA property management company, which will help them organize suppliers for construction or upkeep.

Benefits of Having a Homeowners Association

Home values may rise as a result

The primary benefit of homeowners’ association rules is that they can secure favorable property values in the area in a variety of ways, particularly by regulating and enforcing home design and upkeep rules. Furthermore, HOA bylaws contribute to the overall curb appeal of all properties in the neighborhood.

Can provide amenities to the community

HOAs collect monthly dues from all homeowners in the neighborhood, which they can spend to develop the community in a variety of ways. These costs, for example, can aid with the construction or maintenance of common amenities (such as clubhouses, swimming pools, or tennis courts), arranging neighborhood cleanup or landscaping, or paying for snow removal.

Can aid in conflict resolution

When neighbors have disagreements, such as over parking or cleanup, the HOA management can step in to listen to the situation and establish a new policy to help resolve the argument and prevent repeat instances.

Disadvantages of Having a Homeowners Association

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Excessive limitations may be imposed

In an ideal world, HOAs would write their CC&Rs to reflect the common interests of the homeowners. However, each HOA is free to set its own regulations, which means that certain HOAs may develop rules that homeowners may find excessively restrictive, such as limiting paint colors or enforcing a specific lawn-mowing schedule. Homeowners in places with rigorous HOAs may feel suffocated by restrictive design constraints or stringent upkeep requirements. To make sure that you can keep up with the rules and regulations it is a must to do research about the property before signing the contract.

Possess more authority than homeowners

Homebuyers are automatically expected to agree to and follow the HOA’s governing documents and bylaws. As a result, if homeowners disagree with specific policies, they have few options for challenging the HOA board members. In extreme instances, they may run for a place on the board or take legal action to effect change