Posts in Community Living
Condominium Associations: Know What You're Getting Into When You Buy a Condo

Condominium living can be a great experience. You get the community feeling of an apartment complex with the financial benefits of homeownership. But before purchasing a condo, you need to know what you’re getting into. Condo associations offer tangible benefits and services to their members, but members also owe certain obligations to the association and duties to their neighbors. Of course, condo associations are not all the same, and the legal framework governing condominiums varies from state to state. In general, though, there are a few important principles every condo owner or prospective purchaser should keep in mind.

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Relations in Associations: Symbiosis Between HOAs and Homeowners

An elected HOA board is tasked with general administration and operation of the association, including enforcement of covenants, restrictions, and rules.  When running smoothly, a board serves a valuable purpose in the community, helping to maintain an orderly, peaceful neighborhood.  Unfortunately, though, friction between an HOA board and individual members, or even among board members, is not uncommon.  And the resulting conflict can lead to litigation and other unpleasantness. 

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Freedom in Associations: Exercising Free-Speech Rights in an HOA

While constitutional free-speech rights can be applied to homeowners associations in only a small minority of jurisdictions (and there only under limited circumstances), many states and the United States Congress have decided that some forms of speech are too important to leave completely between homeowners’ associations and their members.  With that in mind, numerous laws specifically restricting the authority of associations to impede certain forms of expression - most notably political speech and patriotic displays – have been enacted throughout the country.

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Clearing The Air in an HOA: Guide For Members Dealing With Secondhand Smoke

The neatest method of adopting a smoking restriction in an HOA community is to include the smoking policy in the declaration when the association is initially formed.  For already-existing associations, though, a new smoking rule will require an amendment to the HOA’s declaration.  Typically, this involves approval by member vote, followed by recording of the amended declaration in the county land records.  Amendment can require only a simple majority, a super-majority, or even unanimous approval of members – depending on the declaration and state law.

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How Can Homeowners Handle HOA Disputes?

Homeowners who live in communities governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA) often run into a unique set of issues to deal with.  Whether it is rules and regulations that affect the usage and maintenance of property or difficult neighbors within the community, the potential areas for disputes to arise are plentiful.  While many times homeowners are able to amicably resolve issues, there are other times when that is not possible.  The question then becomes what is the best way to resolve disputes that arise with a homeowners’ association without turning the dispute into expensive, time consuming and stressful litigation.

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How To Find HOA Contact Information and Documents

Finding the homeowners' association linked to a property can sometimes be frustrating and time-consuming. The good news, is that you may not have to drive down to your county's office to retrieve the HOA information you need, thanks to google. This article will attempt to help you save time by giving you step by step instructions and directing you to the right government agencies where the homeowners association information and documentation are usually stored.

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