What are HOAs and POAs and Why Do I Have to Pay Fees?

Neighborhood Finances: Learning About HOAs and POAs

This post answers the questions, “What are HOAs and POAs?” and “Why do I have to pay fees?” Explanations are given for HOAs, POAs, and why there are required fees.

Today many Charlottesville area neighborhoods require homeowners to belong to a Home Owners Association (HOA) or a Property Owners Association (POA). HOAs and POAs govern the rules and regulations of their community. While HOAs are all in residential areas, POAs may have residential and commercial areas within the same community. The fees required to belong to an HOA or POA are important because they cover the cost of planning and maintenance. 

HOAs and Fees

Home Owner Associations are great for residential neighborhoods. Homeowners can feel a great sense of community. Typically, there is an HOA Board of Directors, elected homeowners from that community, that oversee all of the guidelines set by the rules and regulations of that neighborhood. These guidelines cover architectural standards and property landscaping. The HOA Board members work together to make improvements and collect fees to insure funds for current and future needs. Those needs may be for insurance, community property maintenance, repairs, landscaping, community events, etc. Many neighborhood HOAs have wonderful amenities such as a clubhouse, a swimming pool, tennis courts, walking paths and/or dog parks. HOA fees help to cover the costs for their upkeep. Payments for fees may be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. 

POAs and Fees

Property Owner Associations can focus on many types of properties such as residential, business, and/or vacant lots. For example, a POA may be started with the development of area such as a golf course, rural lake, or large empty spaces. Most POAs are envisioning the larger picture of improved development and future needs of their areas. POAs can be a combination of homeowners, property managers, and/or business owners. Similar to HOA fees, the POA fees help to maintain the required standards set by the owners of that area.

Legal Documents: Guidelines for an HOA or POA

The state of Virginia has a law known as the Property Owners’ Association Act which was implemented on July1, 1998. All property owners must comply with this state code because they could have a lien against their property is they do not. HOAs and POAs have community legal documents which insure compliance to VA laws and the community’s rules and regulations. Common documents homeowners receive from their HOA or POA include Rules and Regulations, Covenants and Restrictions, By-Laws, Architectural and Landscaping Guidelines, and various other regulations. Again, homeowners belonging to an HOA or POA must follow the guidelines or become subject to a lien on their property. Finally, it is important to pay the HOA or POA fees for the neighborhood’s continued maintenance, improvements and compliance to the community rules. 

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If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in the Charlottesville area, please allow me the opportunity to help you put the pieces together.  Virginia Gardner, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., (434) 981-0871Email Virginia