You may have heard a lot about homeowner’s associations (or HOAs) recently. Perhaps you are even thinking of moving into one in suburban Maryland. But all this attention does not explain what an HOA is and how it works.

Understanding the nature of HOAs is crucial for residents and HOA boards alike. The more you know how the organization should work, the better you will be able to improve your own HOA. In the rest of this article, we will define HOAs and explain how they work.

If you still have questions at the end, contact D.H. Bader. Our experts are happy to give you all the information you will need about HOAs.

Let’s get started.

What is an HOA?

HOA stands for homeowner’s association. These are resident-run organizations that manage a community of residences, common areas, and amenities. These residences are often single-family homes and townhomes. However, HOAs can also govern condominium associations, and  other planned communities.

Most importantly, an HOA creates and enforces rules and regulations in the community. These rules must comply with city, county, state, and federal laws. However, there is a lot of variances in the types of rules each community enacts. Common regulations for residents include the following:

  • Limits on architectural details
  • Holiday decoration regulations
  • Home and yard maintenance standards
  • Occupancy limits
  • Parking rules
  • Pet limitations, guidelines, and fees
  • Policies governing complaints.

If a resident breaks these rules and regulations, the HOA has processes in place to resolve the situation. They may issue fines or other penalties. An HOA’s rules and their enforcement are called covenants. The Board outlines these rules in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) provided  to every homeowner. 

How does an HOA work?

The Board of directors runs an HOA. Community members elect them. Almost always, volunteers make up the Board. This process means board members do not get paid. Instead, they work hard to ensure their community remains a nice place to live.

The Board creates and enforces the rules. They also plan events and special projects, coordinate with vendors, and maintain the budget. Essentially, the Board must do everything the HOA needs to function well.

The HOA receives its funding through assessments. Every resident in an HOA community will need to pay HOA fees. The amount of these fees depends on a variety of factors. The Board will disclose the HOA fees upon your purchase of a home in the community.

Because the HOA board has so many responsibilities, they can easily become overwhelmed. Volunteers have their own jobs and families to attend to. That is why many HOAs in suburban Maryland choose a community association management company like D.H. Bader. We provide all the services your community needs to thrive. We can do everything from financial management to hiring vendors.

To learn more about community association management and how it can help your HOA community, contact D.H. Bader.