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Understanding HOA: What are the Pros and Cons of an HOA Community?

FirstKey Homes has a number of homes for rent in communities overseen by homeowners associations (HOAs). As you may know, HOAs are organizations established within residential communities to enforce rules, maintain common areas, and ensure a certain standard of living.

What does it mean to live in an HOA community? In this blog post, we will delve into what HOAs are, the advantages they offer, as well as the disadvantages that some residents may encounter.

What is an HOA?

A homeowners association is typically formed by a group of homeowners in a particular community to manage and maintain common areas, shared amenities, and enforce regulations and restrictions. HOAs are often found in planned communities, townhouses, condominiums, or subdivisions. Membership in an HOA is mandatory for all homeowners within the community, and payment of fees is required to fund the association's activities. Since FirstKey Homes is the homeowner, you won’t be responsible for these membership fees; we pay them on your behalf.

Advantages of Living in an HOA Community:

1. Amenities and Common Area Maintenance: One of the primary advantages of living in an HOA community is access to well-maintained amenities. These might include swimming pools, fitness centers, playgrounds, parks, or even clubhouses. HOAs often take responsibility for the upkeep of these shared spaces, relieving individual homeowners of maintenance tasks and ensuring a higher standard of quality for the entire community.

2. Community Appearance: HOAs establish rules and regulations regarding property aesthetics, architectural guidelines, and landscaping. This can help maintain a cohesive and visually appealing community, which in turn may positively impact property values. Uniformity in appearance can also create a sense of pride and identity among residents.

3. Dispute Resolution: HOAs act as mediators in resolving conflicts between residents, such as noise complaints, parking issues, or pet disputes. This structured conflict resolution process can help maintain a harmonious living environment, promoting a greater sense of community and reducing the burden on individual homeowners to handle disputes on their own.

4. Maintenance and Repairs: Homeowners associations often handle maintenance and repairs for common infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, and street lighting. This shared responsibility ensures that these essential elements are well-maintained and evenly distributed among all residents.

Other Things to Consider About Living in an HOA Community: 

1. Rules and Regulations: While HOAs provide uniformity and upkeep in a community, all members – even renters – are obligated to follow all the rules and regulations (also referred to as CCRs, which stands for Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions). Just be aware that the HOA’s rules will apply to you as a resident of the community.

2. Enforcement and Fees: HOAs have the authority to enforce rules and regulations, and violations can result in penalties or fines. Though FirstKey Homes pays the HOA membership fees on your behalf, any fees charged by the HOA for violations outside of FirstKey Homes’ obligations are the resident’s responsibility, along with any other applicable fees.

HOAs offer many benefits like amenities and maintenance of common areas, but there are also important things to be aware of if you choose to rent a home in an HOA community. Most importantly will be for you to review any rules, regulations, CCRs, etc., and be prepared to follow them as a responsible member of the community.

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