What Is a Homeowner Association (HOA)? 


Understanding Homeowner Associations (HOAs)

A homeowner association (HOA) is an organization that creates and enforces regulations and guidelines for a planned community, subdivision, or condo building. Anyone who purchases property within the HOA’s jurisdiction automatically becomes a member and must pay HOA fees.


Some HOAs are more lenient, while others are very strict with what members can do with their properties. Knowing whether a property comes under an HOA’s jurisdiction is important information to have during the buying process, and it is essential to ask your Realtor® this question.


HOAs are usually formed within communities or neighborhoods of recreational properties (cottages), single-family homes, or multiple-unit buildings such as townhomes or condominiums. The association is run by the community’s residents, and membership is a requirement to buy a home within the community.


An HOA generally has a board of directors or governors that enforce and oversee the HOA’s rules and regulations. An HOA typically describes its rules as restrictive covenants, which may include conditions for owners about the maintenance of their properties and allowances within a sub-division or building. These conditions can include structural restrictions, such as the type of fences or landscape allowed, or aesthetic choices like the color of paint on a house.


HOAs collect monthly or annual HOA fees that depend on factors such as the type of property, the number of properties in the HOA, location, amenities offered, and operating expenses. These fees contribute to the association’s reserve fund, which is set aside for major renovation projects or emergency use.

HOAs can impose fines on homeowners who are in breach of the rules or damage any common areas. In addition to imposing penalties, HOAs can also place a lien on a property if a homeowner falls seriously behind on their dues.


Pros and Cons of an HOA

  • Set and enforce community rules
  • Protect property values
  • Provide services, amenities, and facilities
  • Offer self-governance
  • Impose fees, dues, and assessments
  • Maintain restrictive regulations
  • Operate inefficiently
  • May be run amateurishly or ineptly

Knowing the ins and outs of an HOA can help you make informed decisions when purchasing or selling property within its jurisdiction.

If you have any question pertaining to HOA’s please reach out to me without obligation.



Melanie Press Realtor®, Broker and Owner of Impress Island Realty

902 394 7071 | melanie@impresspei.com | www.realtorinpei.com

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This article is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently in contract with other members of the PEIREA. Using this article in full or part without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2024 Melanie Press Real Estate at Impress Island Realty

Impress Island Realty is a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage and Broker Member of the PEI Real Estate Association (PEIREA)