As a resident in a homeowners association (HOA), it’s important for you to know what you have a right to expect from your association and from your community management team, as well as your responsibilities to the HOA. Being aware of your rights and responsibilities creates clarity, helps you set realistic expectations and leads to more cohesiveness throughout the community.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of community residents’ rights and responsibilities. Remember that these apply equally to homeowners and renters.

Residents’ Rights

  1. A quality association. That means the HOA is both responsive and capable.
  2. Fairness and honesty. HOA leaders, as well as the community management company (if the community is professionally managed), should be honest and fair in all their dealings.
  3. Financial stewardship. Association fees and assessments should be spent wisely and based on a realistic budget.
  4. High living standards. A community should be maintained according to its guidelines. If it’s managed by a good community management company, you should expect it to enhance your property value and quality of life.
  5. Documents. You should have complete documentation of the association rules and regulations that govern the association before your purchase is complete, or at least by the time you move in.
  6. Access. You should be able to see HOA books and records just by making a simple written request.
  7. The opportunity to participate. This includes taking part in meetings, certain committees and elections.
  8. Reasonable process, especially when it comes to foreclosures. You should be able to discuss payment plans and options before proceedings begin.
  9. Appeal. A process should be in place that provides for the hearing and appeal of decisions made by community leaders that affect non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights.

Residents’ Responsibilities
  1. Be knowledgeable and compliant. You should read the governing documents, understand them and follow all HOA rules.
  2. Maintain your property. You should maintain your home and make sure it is up to community standards.
  3. Be honest and respectful. That goes for how you behave with your neighbors, as well as with your HOA leaders.
  4. Engage with your community. Voting in community elections is essential to ensure that your voice is heard.
  5. Make timely payments. This enables a healthy cash flow for the community.
  6. Communicate. If you have difficulty paying assessments or meeting other obligations, you must reach out to your board or your community manager.
  7. Request reconsideration. Sometimes personal situations change. You should make these requests if material decisions are made that affect you personally.
  8. Provide contact information. This ensures that HOA leaders or your community manager can contact you and that essential community information reaches you.
  9. Comply with rules and regulations. This includes anyone who lives with or visits you, such as tenants, relatives and friends.
When it comes to community living, a little bit of knowledge can pay off in a big way. Being fully informed about your rights and responsibilities can go a long way toward creating an HOA community that is friendly, efficient, serene and happy. For more information on residents’ rights and responsibilities, contact FirstService Residential, the leading community management company in Arizona.

Who handles questions about residents’ rights and responsibilities in your community? Do you know? Sign up to download our helpful infographic. It shows you who to contact in your community and how working with a community property management company can add value to your community.


Monday January 30, 2017