Definition of "Homeowner's fee"

Amy Melesky real estate agent

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Amy Meleskyelite badge icon

Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors

The definition of a homeowner’s fee is a fee that is charged to homeowners that belong to a homeowner's association. The homeowner’s fee usually includes the cost of maintenance, recreation, or other services. Homeowner's fees may be levied on a regular or irregular basis.

 

When discussing the homeowners association fee (HOA Fee) we are talking about a certain amount of money that is charged monthly by the association from the owners of properties within the community. The reason why the homeowner’s association is collecting these fees is to maintain and further improve properties and amenities managed by the association that the owners have access to. It is important to keep in mind that some properties can demand both HOA fees and condo fees. It is also important that you understand what they are used for so make sure you familiarize yourself regarding HOA FEES.

What is the HOA fee used for?

In regards to condominiums, the most common instance when HOA fees are applied, these fees are used to take care of the common areas of the building like elevators, lobbies, swimming pools, patios etc. There are some cases where the HOA fees also cover some utilities such as water, garbage disposal, and sewage.

 

When unforeseen situations arise, like the malfunction of an elevator or the need for a new roof, the HOA can demand/collect/levy specific funds, especially if their reserves are insufficient to cover the repair.

 

When it comes to single-family homes, while not a rule and not as common, there is a possibility for HOA fees. This can happen if the neighborhood has amenities that can be used by any resident from the area like tennis courts, parks, or clubhouse. Gated communities require HOA fees for their amenities as well as planned communities. It depends on the neighborhood you move to so make sure to inquire about HOA and HOA fees.

What if the HOA fee is not paid?

If an owner that lives in a home that is managed by an HOA, for whatever reason, does not pay their monthly or annual HOA fees, the HOA has the power and right to take the first steps towards the homeowner that’s late on their fees.

  • If the contract between HOA and homeowner states that late fees can be charged, then that is the first step;
  • If the contract between HOA and homeowner does not state late fees, then HOA can go to extreme measures and initiate a lawsuit, place a claim on the home or directly go to foreclose the property in order to collect their late fees.

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