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The Purpose of the Homeowners Association (HOA)

If you are about to purchase a residence that is part of a community of homes or condominiums, you may be required to become a member of a homeowners association. The same type of association may be active for a group of co-op apartments and is there to make decisions that affect the entire community of homes. Usually a non-profit organization with elected or appointed officers, a homeowners association operates with a president, secretary, treasurer, and other functioning members.

Membership in the Association
Homeowners in the community become members and can be elected to a position on the Board of Directors. The Board meets to discuss new business, initiate rules and regulations, and take action when there is an infraction of a rule by one of the homeowner members. Members pay dues and assessments, attend general meetings, and vote for new officers and the institution of new rules.

The Benefits of a Homeowners Association
Homeowners Associations benefit their communities by providing a way to enforce the rules and regulations agreed upon by the Board of Directors and members. Many of these regulations are in affect in order to maintain the appearance of the member's homes and to apply a uniform code of behavior for members. Legal action is occasionally taken by an Association to assure that members obey certain rules. Community-wide maintenance, landscaping, and enhancements can be carried out through contracts arranged by the Association.

Multiple Responsibilities
The overwhelming opinion of homeowners associations by their members is that they are a positive force working for the benefit of the community. A homeowners association maintains the condition of common facilities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, and community streets. The association needs to keep current with all laws regarding housing communities, acquire and maintain all necessary liability insurance policies, property titles, and deeds. Through a homeowner association, each homeowner has the support of the entire community, which is perhaps the most beneficial role played by the homeowners association.

Community Associations Institute
There is an incredible amount of responsibility to shoulder when you organize a homeowners association, so it is no surprise that people reach out for assistance and advice. It not only requires a lot of hard work to set up a community organization, but members and officers frequently take on responsibilities they may not be fully suited to handle after the association has taken off. To help you achieve your goal to create and manage a healthy and strong community, organizations such as the Community Associations Institute and the Community Associations Network are there to fill in the missing pieces to your expertise. With a quick Google search for the term "homeowners association" you will be instantly given a vast listing of resources to help you make your community association a strong and effective one.