Homeowners’ Associations are a growing trend in middle Tennessee, and you are likely to find them in the larger neighborhoods inside city limits; but what exactly do these HOAs’ control? And what happens if someone (not you, of course) breaks the rules?
The presence of a Homeowners’ Association is commonly enacted by the developer of the neighborhood/subdivision and it may be controlled internally, or operated by a third-party. While some people avoid shopping for any house governed by a set of by-laws, others specifically search for them! The following are a few reasons why someone might (or might not) want an HOA in their neighborhood:
- Exterior Maintenance.
- PRO: In many neighborhoods, the HOA will be responsible for the exterior of the home. This may include driveway repair, landscaping, roofing, fencing, etc.
- CON: While some people might want nothing to do with their landscaping, an HOA might not be best for people who want to grow a large vegetable garden or plant your own trees. Oftentimes, the HOA limits what and where things can be planted.
- Disputes with Neighbors.
- PRO: If your neighbor has a habit of throwing late-night parties every single week (not speaking from experience, of course), the HOA will likely gather the complaints anonymously and discuss the issue with the alleged party-throwing homeowner. Otherwise, walking the dog could get… awkward.
- CON: However, if you ARE the party-throwing neighbor, having a violation reporting system might not go so well.
- Restrictions on Occupancy.
- PRO: Almost every HOA has a limit on the number of people who live/stay in the house at one time. Or even to whom you may rent and for how long. If you want to live in a likely quieter neighborhood and not feel crowded, this restriction is a definite pro.
- CON: If you want to use a property as a future rental, either as long-term or short-term (think AirBnb), you might run into some problems. Actually, it’s almost guaranteed.
- Monthly or Annual Fees.
- PRO: If you love the thought of having an HOA in your neighborhood, the fee may be a reasonable price for you to pay for paradise.
- CON: Fees for an HOA can be anywhere from $100 to $300 per month in the middle Tennessee area.
What happens if a homeowner violates a regulation set forth by the homeowners’ association? Usually a fine is imposed on the offending party. The fine may start at $50 or more, and could increase with each offense.
Homeowners’ Associations are a growing trend in middle Tennessee, and you are likely to find them in the larger neighborhoods inside city limits. It is important to know that every HOA has different restrictions and regulations (also known as “CCRs”) and some of these may not apply to a house you are interested in. It’s always best to consult your real estate attorney before purchasing a home in an area where you are concerned about possible restrictions. Should you need an attorney specializing in real estate law, our team at Collins Legal has over a decade of legal experience in real estate law.