A Homeowners Association: The Pros and Cons

Kishan Thakkar K

Introduction

According to Investopedia, a homeowner’s association (HOA) is “an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. Those who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become members”.

In the Indian context, it’s like an Apartment Owners Association that is formed and operated by volunteers of a residential complex in mostly informal ways.

Pros of Homeowners Association

1. Maintenance and management

The gated community needs both an official and informal body of officers in charge of many aspects of maintaining a healthy and comfortable standard of living. They are in economic management processing, landscape and security equipment maintenance, and the repair and restoration of various maintenance features.

2. Arbitration

On a community level, the complaints and disputes are pretty apparent. The house owner’s association is responsible for legally resolving disputes.

If a dispute emerges between two parties, the homeowner association has the authority to intervene and negotiate.

3. Access to amenities

Members of the Homeowners Association are responsible for the appointment caretakers and managers for the various facilities, as well as a service staff/waste management vendor, maintaining financial documents, statements, and legal documentation, builder handover documents for the society, and member information.

4. Safety

Homeowners Association members are the point of contact for homeowners who have general safety concerns. In addition to the individual security measures, an apartment building should have responsible security guards who are educated in fire safety regulations and basic equipment handling.

5. Legal and operational needs

In cases of grievances against legal disputes resulting from construction or ownership concerns, an HOA may be a trustworthy source for determining legitimate remedies by addressing local authorities regarding the nature of the disputes.

The Homeowners Association is expected to maintain detailed records, including banking account management for unit and property taxes, GST, and so on.

Cons of a Homeowners Association

1. A typical charge

Every unit owner is required to pay a monthly fee to the homeowners association for the complex to be maintained and managed properly.

The monthly maintenance charge is determined by several parameters. The more the costs, the greater the number of amenities and services available.

2. Following the rules

An Homeowners Association is responsible for formulating all rules and regulations regarding monthly fees, a code of behaviour, garbage disposal, and other social norms.

These bye-laws include Do’s and Don’ts for community customs and also rules that must be obeyed.

3. Punishable by fines

The Homeowners Association has the authority to levy penalties or take legal action against apartment owners who fail to make payments on time, violate rules frequently, cause a nuisance, or engage in illegal activities on the complex premises.

Despite being described as a con, the mentioned rules are needed to maintain the apartment complex safe, secure, and disciplined so that community life becomes pleasant.

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