Increasing HOA Dues (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

Those who live under an HOA benefit from naturally increased value over the years. Although an associations bylaws and regulations may seem like a pain, they are in place to ensure the overall upkeep of your community and help your property maintain its value. According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, about 25% of Americans live in homes with HOAs.

Homeowners association dues vary widely depending upon the amount of amenities that are provided to the homeowners. Sometimes they just cover the maintenance of the entryway and median whereas other dues can cover the upkeep of streets, cable TV or Internet, landscaping, pools and playgrounds, legal fees, insurance, and so much more. 

Home shoppers need to take into consideration many factors before purchasing a home, including the homeowners association. Want to know what makes buyers go one way or the other? Here are some pros and cons to Homeowners Associations:

PROS:

  • HOAs maintain common areas like pools, clubhouses, walking paths, etc.
  • HOAs help keep uniformity across the community.
  • HOAs helps the homes within their neighborhood retain their value.
  • HOAs can mediate problems on the homeowners behalf.

CONS:

  • HOAs often require approval before doing any exterior modifications.
  • HOAs can feel overbearing.
  • HOA dues can increase every year (more on that below).
  • HOAs can place a lien on your property if the homeowner gets far enough behind on their payments.

INCREASING HOA DUES

While associations can always do their best to predict costs, there are times when they can be unpredictable and when community associations need to make the decision to increase the HOA dues. Often times a budget increases it is due to one of the following reasons:

  • Repair and replacement needs for common areas
  • Community damage after a natural disaster 
  • Increase in operation expenses
  • Increase in cost of maintenance

In Florida the law does not provide a limit on how much the dues and the association’s budget can go up in any given year. However if the increase in the budget is more than 115% of the previous year 10% of the unit owners may petition for a meeting to try to get a different budget passed.

IN CONCLUSION

The goal of the Homeowners Association is not to meddle, but to maintain the neighborhood’s aesthetic. There are some trade offs but we believe the value it brings outweighs the bad.

At Mosaic Property Services, we have been working with Homeowners Associations for years in Clermont, Groveland, Winter Garden, Orlando and across Central Florida, helping them write their bylaws to mediating conflicts to managing their community.