Homeowners Associations – A Guide

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A Home design by Archid Architecture, South Africa

In a case when you buy a property that is part of the condominium or a gated community, you will need to become a member of Homeowners Association. This includes paying a fee (monthly or annual) for maintenance of common areas in the condominium as well as following of the rules that Homeowners Associations has set for the community. Some may pertain to house plans, building designs or architectural designs that must be submitted by architects before any construction work can begin.

This is why it is good to get familiar with rules so that you can know what you can expect in certain community.

Homeowners Associations Fees

Fees are usually around R800-R1500 a month and the amount will be higher in relation to how wealthy the area is where the building is located. Besides paying this monthly fee to the Homeowners Associations, there is also need to pay for maintenance and unexpected costs. Also, because Homeowners Associations fees need to be covered by the owners of individual apartments, even when someone doesn't want or can't pay, other owners will have to cover it up for him. These fees simply have to be covered because they ensure

certain quality of system and life in the community.

Homeowners Association Rules and House Plans

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Homeowners Association decide on certain set of rules that all owners in the community have to follow and abide by. These rules are usually called conditions, covenants and restrictions. These rules can cover matters such as color of front doors of individual apartments, drying of laundry in front of the apartment or on the outside terrace, owning and positioning of satellite television, type of the vehicle you can park on a driveway, amount of landscaping you can do in front of your apartment, etc. If you don't like any part of these CC&Rs, you will still have to abide by them; you can try to appeal and to get variance to these rules in which case you can do what you wanted-but this doesn't happen very often. Homeowners Association follow rules they have determined and it is very unlikely that you will manage to convince them to change these rules in our favor. This is why it is so important to get very familiar with rules and restrictions before you choose to purchase a property that is under certain Homeowners Association. Some Homeowners Association even impose certain fines for those that don't abide by the rules-make sure to read this part of the rules especially well.

Homeowners Association Management

There aren't many associations that are managed so perfectly that every base is covered-and even something on top of it. It is much more likely case that you can encounter Homeowners Association that isn't managed enough. This means that Homeowners Association will not really care for the maintenance in the building, repairs in the building, arranging meetings of the Homeowners Association to discuss current problems and demands, etc. This will mean that even though you pay monthly fee, you will see poorly maintained lawn and a parking lot, dirty swimming pool, etc. You want to have someone who will be there when you need electricity repaired, for example.  Archid architecture has been submitting house plans and building designs and liaising with a number of HOA for a number of years now. Let us know how we can assist you.

 

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