The Pros and Cons of homeowner’s associations

What is a homeowner’s association?

Across the globe, a large section of the population lives in what might be considered a ‘shared building or residence’. Many people choose to live in such an environment as it can be a much more affordable option, with rents often being lower than single dwelling buildings. Others might also choose to live within a shared building due to the community support that can be offered from a network of close neighbours. Regardless of the motivation behind choosing a shared building to live in, many residents will be required to join a type of housing association, often called a Homeowner’s Association or HOA.

A Homeowner’s Association is usually an organisation which is set up to manage a property and enforce rules within its designated area. When an individual purchases a home within a shared building they are often automatically signed up to their homeowner’s association.

Why are they important?

Homeowner’s associations can often have a legal responsibility for the property and are required by law to ensure the property is managed in a way that complies with health and safety laws.  

Homeowner’s associations also manage many of the properties shared facilities. For example, if there is an issue with the pool or heating, the association of the building is usually the figure which is required to fix the issue. In many good homeowner’s associations, it is considered best practise for the association to actually maintain the building to an extremely high standard to prevent such issues becoming a problem in the first place.

What are the benefits?

In many cases, the management of a homeowner’s association is outsourced to a completely independant company such as the Cedar Management Group. This separate management can function to avoid any bias given to either residents or local authorities when issues arise. In this respect homeowner’s associations can provide a neutral and balanced authority figure which many homeowners may find reassuring.

The homeowner’s association is usually fully responsible for caring for all services within the residence. Due to this, the management of the building would actually support stable property values and help to protect your investment overall. Not only that, but fees paid into an homeowner’s association usually covers adverse weather coping strategies and trash removal.

What are the drawbacks?

Due to health and safety concerns, and the idea of appeasing as many residents as possible, homeowner’s associations often impose strict regulations on what residents can and cannot do. In most cases, such rules are usually fairly reasonable and most people comply. Interestingly, however, there have been many reports that homeowner’s associations actually go too far. For example, many people claim that the associations can be too strict on non essential rules and that these actually provide an additional source of tension between different residents.

Homeowner’s associations are necessary

Whilst there are many pros and cons to being part of a homeowners association, they are actually usually compulsory to join when buying a home in a shared building. Therefore, it is recommended that as part of your search for a new home you also consider the regulations of the homeowner’s association thoroughly.