What Is an HOA or Homeowner Association?

    HOAs in New Orleans

    HOAs in New Orleans

    While they may be the norm in other parts of the country (and even on the North Shore in our metro area), you won’t find too many HOAs in New Orleans.

    What’s an HOA?

    An HOA is a community homeowner’s association that you are required to join when purchasing a property in that particular development. The HOA (homeowner’s association) is a legal entity that makes and enforces the rules for the properties in the neighborhood. The rules are known collectively as the CC&R or Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.

    The primary function of the HOA is the enforcement of the CC&Rs, with the principal being that this enforcement will help maintain both property values and quality of life for residents. The HOA board is typically made up of resident volunteers.

    What kind of neighborhoods have HOAs?

    Typically, it’s a gated community, but it could also be a planned neighborhood with resident amenities such as playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools and clubhouses. Each owner pays their share of dues each year to help maintain landscaping, resident public areas, streets and lighting (if the community is gated), and security.

    How are HOA dues paid?

    It varies from association to association, with some collecting monthly and others due on a biannual or annual basis.

    What kind of rules can I expect in an HOA?

    Living in an HOA governed community is certainly not for everyone. Some HOAs go as far as determining acceptable paint colors for homes and the type of landscaping and decorations allowed in front yards. All of them have restrictions regarding the minimum square footage for new construction and rules for setbacks, finishes and car storage.

    What happens if I don’t pay my dues?

    Because the dues are an obligation agreed to at purchase, the HOA can begin collection procedures against owners that have not paid their dues. Liens have been filed against properties and, in extreme cases, HOAs have even pursued foreclosure for the payment of the debt.

    What else do I need to know?

    If you are considering purchasing a home in a community with an HOA, part of your due diligence will be thoroughly read and understand the CC&Rs.

    You don’t want to be surprised by a rule you can’t live with after you’ve already moved into your new home!

     

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