According to Bankrate, 55 million people live within a community governed by a homeowners association. These associations are responsible for setting the parameters for which homeowners within a certain community must operate. These rules range from acceptable colors used to paint a home to the frequency with which yards must be maintained. While there are benefits to these associations, there are can also be a number of drawbacks for those that must adhere to these rules.
Homeowners associations require homeowners to pay a certain fee, either monthly or annually. These dues are used for the purposes of physical upkeep in the community, neighborhood events and other services that directly benefit homeowners. However, these fees can range from reasonable to exorbitant, depending on the association in question. Many homeowners find that a monthly bill spanning hundreds of dollars for dues is a hardship in addition to other household expenses. Moreover, these dues are a requirement and the association can—and sometimes do—sue the homeowner if the dues are not paid.
Some homeowners associations have stringent rules for homeowners that must be followed. From the color you can paint your home to guidelines restricting old cars or trash in your yard, you are legally bound to follow these rules even if your home is your own. You generally are required to sign a document along with the closing papers on your home stating that you agree to abide by the by-laws of the homeowners association. Homeowners associations can foreclose on your home if you opt to break the rules of the covenant.
No Choice In Abiding By Rules
Once you sign the closing papers on your home and those agreeing to adhere to the covenants of the homeowners association, there is no choice but to abide by the rules. This means that you cannot decide to go outside of the restrictions of the association, even if you disagree. Moreover, in most instances, you are not permitted to purchase a home in a privately developed neighborhood if joining the homeowners association is a requirement you would rather not adhere to.