1. Pay your HOA fees.As a member of a homeowners association you are required to pay monthly fees to the association. The main purpose of these fees is to cover maintenance for common areas in the development that all members of the association community have access to, as well as amenities in the association.
General maintenance may include:
- Insurance for common area structures
- Mailing costs for newsletter and correspondence
- Employment of a management company or on-site manager
- Security personnel
- General upkeep for common areas
Amenities may include:
- Swimming Pool
- Tennis Court
- Basketball Court
- Walking Trail
Keep in mind that the governing documents of your homeowners association will tell you exactly what your HOA fees are being used for.
2. Proper upkeep of your home’s exterior. Many homeowners associations tell you what you can and cannot do when it comes to the exterior of your home. The main purpose for this is to keep a consistent look throughout the association and maintain attractive curb appeal. Areas that your association will probably have rules and regulations about are:
- Painting – especially the color
- Roofs – type and style
- Satellite Dishes – installation policies
- Gardens – types of plants you can have and location
- Clutter – debris or trash in your yard will not be tolerated
These rules and regulations may sound harsh to some people, but the association is trying to keep a somewhat uniformed and maintained look. Having these policies in place will ensure that your neighbor won’t have cars parked on the lawn, paint their house pink, or have their collection of garden gnomes on display.
3. Plan for surprise repairs. Some homeowners associations pay for utilities like water or garbage, but gas, electric, phone, internet and cable is usually the responsibility of the homeowner. Seasonal maintenance is also the responsibility of the homeowner, as well as any general interior repairs. These might include:
- Electrical wiring
- Window replacement
- Vent cleaning
- Chimney sweeping
- Seasonal HVAC service
The best thing you can do as a member of your homeowners association is be informed. Make it a point to understand what your association is responsible for and what you are responsible for. Take a moment to understand the rules and regulations, commit to putting them into practice and you’ll be a pro at property maintenance in your homeowners association.