Home Owners Association

The deterioration of maintenance standards in some housing complexes has  necessitated the need to look into Home Owners Associations and their  importance and relevance to the upkeep and management.

Two questions to ask would be, does the housing complex have a Home  Owners Association and if so, what is hindering the effectiveness of  these associations?

A Home Owners Association is an association formed by owners of a  building, tenement or block of flats with the common purpose of  addressing issues of shared concern for example common repairs,  maintenance and bill servicing. The Association runs under a  constitution which has its own covenants, conditions and restrictions.  For the common interest to apply all property owners should be members  of the association and anyone who buys into the complex or neighbourhood  automatically becomes a member of the association with an appointed  committee to run directly mange affairs. The Association is a non-  profit making organisation and its constitution adopts a set of bye-laws  clearly describing the Association’s rights and responsibilities. It  works for the welfare of the residents while also protecting the owners’  interests.

The deterioration of infrastructure and security in housing complexes  is normally due to the lack of a committed and united Association. The  Associations funding comes from the payment of levies by the residents  and non-payment of levies mainly weakens the effectiveness of these  Associations. A functional Association will keep the housing complex  well maintained and managed thereby maintaining the capital value of  individual properties and attracting good prospective buyers as well as  tenants.

Why is it necessary?

As an owner /resident in a complex or block of flats, one has shared  responsibility to maintain and repair the common areas of the property.  It is, however, a strenuous and time consuming task to organize the  repairs and maintenance of these areas whilst at the same time managing  payment of levies due. An association is needed to plan such repairs and  maintenance ahead of time and to ensure they are conducted correctly  and timeously. Its entire purpose is to maintain a higher quality of  life for the tenants and owners by maintaining the capital value of the  flat or building.

Advantages

  • All owners have a common body to represent their interest and protect their investment
  • Bills will serviced timeously due to controlled management of funds
  • Common pool of income and better communication
  • Efficiency in maintenance and repairs management
  • A well managed complex is always neat and up to standard


Disadvantages

  • Costly levies to ensure efficient management
  • Uniformity restricts owners from improving their property to their own preference
  • The limitations and the degree of enforcement depend on the  enthusiasm of the association board or the director, but pose a  disadvantage for some owners.
  • A lawsuit against the HOA or its members will diminish association  reserves and result in special assessments which residents or owners  pay. Common reasons for lawsuits involve accidents due to HOA negligence  or mismanagement and or discrimination against residents.
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