Top 3 Things Renters Need to Know About HOAs Before Signing the Lease

If you’re considering a rental property that belongs to an HOA-regulated community, you should take the time to go over the HOA’s Covenant, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) before signing the lease because there might be a couple of stipulations or regulations that you won’t feel comfortable living with. You should also read the fine print on the lease contract regarding HOA dues because you could be paying annual membership that your landlord already covers. In any case, it pays to go over the lease contract and HOA regulations as this ensure a smooth moving-in process and an even smoother residency in your new community.

Now if you’re renting an HOA-regulated property for the first time, here are some of the things you need to know about HOAs:

1. Members pay annual dues on top of other fees

Membership dues could cost you anywhere between $300 to a staggering $3,000 per month, depending on the location, type of community, property, and public amenities provided by the HOA. The schedule of payment will depend on the HOA. On top of this, the HOA may also charge you for additional fees from time to time. These could be to cover repairs and maintenance, replacement of old equipment, and other incidentals. Usually, there is an emergency fund for these things but if the cost exceeds the fund, members will have to share the load. Members may also pay an additional fee to build up the reserve fund once it gets depleted.

2. Your landlord will enforce HOA CC&Rs, and rules and regulations

Since you will be moving into a rental, you will have a landlord who will oversee everything, which includes ensuring that tenants abide by the HOA’s CC&Rs and by-laws, as well as applicable rules and regulations. Expect to hear from your landlord about these things from time to time if they have been contacted by the HOA for a violation or complaint, or other reasons.

3. HOA CC&Rs are different from the HOA’s rules and regulations

In general, CC&Rs outline what every household member should do regarding the maintenance of their properties. These could include painting exterior walls with specific colors only, mandatory landscaping of the front lawn, street parking, payment of dues and fees, and whether or not you are allowed to have pets other than cats and dogs.

Rules and regulations, on the other hand, have more to do with day-to-day living in the community. These usually include when to take out the trash for garbage collection, where you can place trash bins outdoors, and such.

In general, these are rules and regulations that haven’t been covered in the CC&Rs or by-laws. And these are more flexible compared to the two as these could be easily amended to keep up with changing times.