Since most HOAs are incorporated, they are subject to statutes governing homeowners associations and not-for-profit corporations, as mandated by each individual state. All community homeowners are mandatory members of the HOA, and must follow the community’s guidelines to ensure a harmonious environment and lifestyle; failure to comply can result in fines or other penalties.
Included services can include:
- Lawn care and landscaping
- Snow removal
- Water, plumbing and sewage systems
- A/C and heating systems
- Electric system and lighting
- Sanitation system
- Trash removal
- Security system and gates
- Elevator system
- Cleaning, painting and upkeep of exteriors and common areas, such as hallway walls, carpeting, clubhouse, etc.
- Pest control
- Repairs of roofs, interior roads, pipes, elevators, etc. due to age, weather conditions or other damage
- Maintenance of shared amenities, such as pool, fitness equipment, clubhouse, etc.
- Front desk and concierge services
- Cable TV and Internet
HOA fees are also used to pay for a master insurance policy to protect the community’s building structures, exteriors and community property against damage, as well as other insurance riders and add-ons as required. In addition, fees cover utility payments for all common areas, such as electricity, lighting, water, heating and air conditioning.
Fiscally sound HOAs allocate a portion of homeowner dues to a special long-term reserve account to cover planned and budgeted renovations or repairs that do not occur regularly, such as repaving interior roads or replacing elevator machinery. They also set aside contingency funds each month to cover unforeseen community expenses and emergencies.
In addition, fees are used to pay for salaries and benefits for internal management, maintenance and janitorial staff members, as well as the services of a professional community association management company to manage operations and maintenance and enforce the Board’s rules and decision.
Sometimes, active adult communities are also lifestyle communities, but lifestyle communities can exist for all age ranges and living situations. Lifestyle communities may be high-rises, townhomes, single-family homes or combined communities. Although most people think large suburban or semi-rural properties when they think about lifestyle communities, more are popping up in urban centers as millennial buyers reshape those centers into mixed-use areas with emphasis on a live/work/play environment.
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