An HOA is defined as an entity comprised of homeowners residing within a particular area, whose principal purpose is to ensure the provision and maintenance of community facilities and enforcement of the various covenants and restrictions. An HOA is created when a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CCR”) is recorded in local land records. Each lot and common area is subject to the CC&R. Unlike a condominium, the bylaws of the HOA may not be recorded with the CCRs.
An association helps to protect home values in the community, offers amenities for the enjoyment of owners and helps to build a sense of community. Community associations are commonly established as a non-profit corporation that is governed by a set of documents including the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws, and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs). Home values are maintained through the enforcement of community standards spelled out in these governing documents. Generally most standards focus on property maintenance and architectural design of the community.
The HOA is responsible for maintaining the common areas. The common areas may include the parking lots, sidewalks, green space not included within the lots, playgrounds, swimming pool and other recreation facilities. The owners will be responsible for maintaining their lots, including the landscaping within their property boundaries and the exterior of the owners’ homes. There are some HOAs where the CCR permits the HOA to assume the responsibility of the landscaping of lots. Any exterior additions, alterations or improvements on a lot undertaken by an owner usually requires advance permission from the Board.