If you are looking to move into a neighborhood or condo community, or if you have just recently relocated into one, you may have noticed that there is a governing body within the community that is made up of residents from that community. This is what is known as a homeowners association, and they are the management body for residential areas in San Diego and elsewhere. If you have never come in contact with one before, you may be confused as to what their purpose and duties actually are. Read on to find out what these boards are all about.
A homeowners association (HOA) oversees the property on behalf of all the residents. To simplify this concept, there are four basic responsibilities for an HOA: making rules, holding meetings, controlling finances, and managing maintenance.
Let’s start with making the rules. Just like any governing body or private organization, there are certain rules and bylaws which every member (or resident, in this case) is expected to follow. Ideally, these regulations are put in place to keep peace and order within the community. The HOA board is responsible for setting and approving these rules, as well as making sure they are followed, carrying out disciplinary action if they are not, and hearing and addressing any concerns from residents about these regulations or those that are breaking them.
That is where the next responsibility comes in: meetings. These are times for concerns and issues to be brought up and addressed with members of the community, and the board also votes on issues, actions, and changes to regulations. This is also where new members can be voted onto the board by the community.
Next is finances. It takes money to be able to pay for the amenities within a community, such as a community pool or gym. Therefore, the board has to set the budget in order to cover all of these things, along with maintenance, utility bills, and so on. The most immediate impact this has on residents is the monthly fee they must pay while living there, and the HOA is the one who sets that fee.
Part of what the finances pay for is maintenance of the residential area, which is the final basic responsibility of an HOA. This does not just cover the trash removal for the community; it also deals with arranging for inspections, negotiating with contractors for certain maintenance tasks, and responding to emergencies that may arise within the neighborhood. The HOA takes care of all of this.
As you can see, an HOA has a lot on their plate in running a neighborhood or complex. Some particularly savvy boards decide to hire homeowners association management firms in San Diego or elsewhere to take care of some of the bigger tasks that come with managing properties.