What Does Your HOA Do For You?

When choosing to relocate to Seven Lakes, homeowners may wonder how the community’s Home Owner’s Association may prove beneficial to them. HOAs are private associations that manage neighborhoods or communities by enforcing a set of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that are applied to that specific community. Typically, the focal duty of an HOA is to maintain communal areas while also providing a safeguard for neighborhood property values.

According to the official Homeowners Protection Bureau, LLC, “The idea is that, if all owners abide by the community’s covenants and restrictions and contribute to its budget, everyone benefits in the form of increased property values and improved quality of life.”

To enforce this ideal, it is the responsibility of the HOA board to repair and maintain common areas, ensure that home owners and guests are adhering to covenants, and conduct routine inspections of the community. Amenities—such as the lakes, stables, and recreational areas here within Seven Lakes—are kept up by the Home Owner’s Association to fulfill their end of the covenant with home owners.

In order to conduct maintenance on these properties, the HOA board must consider its budget and how much money can be allotted to a specific task. In determining the overall budget for the HOA, the board must take into consideration how much money can be collected from home owners within reason. 

The monthly assessment and fees collected from home owners cannot be too extreme in either direction: if it is too high, it will negatively impact property values as homes may not sell or residents will leave. If the dues are too low, the community will not be able to afford the upkeep that the residents expect and deserve. Thus, the HOA gauges the community and determines a reasonable amount based on current residents and amenity usage.

Many HOAs run into issues with enforcing repercussions for violations. According to the Educational Community for HOA Homeowners, “In deciding how to enforce the governing documents, the board must carefully consider the nature and scope of an infraction and try to address the situation in a manner that is reasonably related to the severity of the violation.”

While fines and charges may be applied to small infractions, it is harder for HOAs to take action for trespassing or broken rules on community property. Security guards often have no legal authority, and unless there is proof a crime/infraction has been committed, there is often little recourse. If residents see a crime or violation of rules happening, it is suggested for the witness to take a video or photo if possible and report it to the HOA.

As with almost all Home Owners Associations, Seven Lakes routinely hosts meetings that allow board members and homeowners to discuss upcoming events, planned maintenance, and review general commentary from both sides. If a resident has a concern or suggestion, he or she is welcome to bring it up at a meeting and have it addressed by a member of the HOA, allowing the association to keep in touch with its residents.