There are 17 million homeowners and 5 million aspiring homeowners in the United Kingdom.1 Buying a home is a big decision, not to mention an expensive one. In the UK, the cost of buying a home skyrocketed to £163,000 on average in 2013, which is six times higher than the average full-time salary. Therefore, only 65.3 percent of households in England are homeowners.2
Whether you have bought a home or are planning to acquire a home in the New Year, after the purchase is made you may become a member of the ownership organisation – the Homeowners Association (HOA). If you do become a homeowner and a member of the Homeowners Association, here are the basics:
What is the Homeowners Association?
The HOA is an organisation that was created to maintain common areas and enforce rules for the properties within its jurisdiction. When you purchase a condominium, townhouse, or other type of property in a planned development such as a leased property or gated property, you are obligated to join that community’s Homeowner’s Association.
What does the Homeowners Association Do?
The HOA creates and enforces a set of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). These rules and contracts dictate how the homeowner’s association operates and what owners must abide by. The limitations are put into place to maintain property values, distribute cost of services and make the community a place where people want to live. The monthly or annual HOA payments take care of the upkeep of common areas.
What does the Homeowners Associate Regulate?
The more upscale the building and the more amenities it has, the higher the HOA fees are likely to be. The HOA may regulate the following in your community:4
- Housing – This may limit the colors you are allowed to use on the exterior of your home, the size and style.
- Pets – Rule will state whether pets are allowed, how many, what breed and what size.
- Mailboxes – This may limit what style of mailbox and where they can be placed.
- Modifications – This rule will determine if you can modify your property or make additions like installing a pool.
- Parking – This limits the number of parking spots you receive, how many cars can park in your driveway and visitor parking.
- Landscaping – This rule determines how tall your grass can be, and whether you can add tress, bushes, or gardens.
- Detached Structure – This limits the size or placement of a structure.
- Fencing – This may limit what types of materials you are allowed to use, color, and height.
- Noise – Depending on the HOA, they may impose regulations for noise control.
Homeowners Associations are meant to be your ally. Before you purchase a property, be certain you know the rules and regulations and are aware of the monthly fee of the HOA in your community.
1 HomeOwners Alliance. (2014). Retrieved December 16, 2014 from http://bit.ly/1AHKKs3
2 Barrow, B. (8 February 2013). Home ownership collapses to its lowest level for 25 years: Millions of families and first time buyers priced off the property ladder. Retrieved December 16, 2014 from http://dailym.ai/1sFuQQb
3 Fontinelle, A. (2014). 9 Things you need to know about homeowners associations. Retrieved December 16, 2014 from http://bit.ly/1BYKkS7
4 Chase. (2014). My new home. Retrieved December 16, 2014 from http://bit.ly/1uZw4kt
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.