Chances are, when you buy a condo, you will become a member of your Condo (condominium) association. In a nutshell, that’s what a homeowner’s association is; the group of people who own condos in a particular building or development. However, the homeowner’s association (HOA) is more than just a loose group of homeowners; it keeps things running smoothly and protects all the owners’ investments.
Condo Association Dues
The condo association will collect dues from all owners on a monthly or yearly basis. These HOA dues go into a general fund that covers the cost of maintaining things like the building, trash and sewer as well as common areas and amenities like swimming pools or workout rooms. The cost of these dues varies by location and development and depends on the number of owners as well as amenities the condo development provides.
Covenants and Restrictions
The condo association is also responsible for providing copies of the covenants and restrictions to owners as well as enforcing them. Covenants and restrictions are sets of rules that govern owners in terms of how they must maintain their properties. For instance, there could be a restriction in your condo building that prohibits people from hanging laundry to dry on their balconies. The covenants and restrictions are meant to protect the investment of all owners and to create an environment that will benefit all owners by keeping the building and grounds looking clean and welcoming.
The Board of Directors
Most condo associations hold yearly elections to choose a board of directors. This board acts as the enforcers of the covenants and restrictions as well as mediators when owners find themselves having a dispute with neighbors. Sometimes the board needs to issue warnings or even fines when a resident is not in compliance with the covenants and restrictions. The board can make decisions regarding using association funds to pay for maintenance or improvements. Most condo boards of directors have one year terms. Because the board is elected yearly it gives many owners the chance to get involved with their community.
Living in a condo is a great and low maintenance option for your retirement, vacation home or permanent residence. However, when problems or disputes arise, your condo association will help ensure that the best interests of all owners are represented. Purchasing a condo is long term investment; your condo association will help keep that investment protected for years to come.
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