Are you legally obligated to join a homeowners association?

homeowners association

Are you legally obligated to join a homeowners association?

While some HOAs allow voluntary participation, others require membership. A required membership community does require residents to join the association, pay dues, and abide by community rules. In this case, the only way around an HOA is to opt out of the community altogether. If you are a part of an HOA, rules must be respected, dues must be paid, and membership must be regarded seriously.

You must join the HOA if you purchase a house in an area where one already exists in order to do so. You cannot choose not to join the HOA; assessments will be due starting after your transaction closes. The bottom line is that you should buy a house in a different neighborhood if you do not wish to belong to the association.

Existing residents are typically not obligated to join the organization if a HOA is established in a community where none previously existed. A HOA community that has voluntary membership may decide to switch to mandatory membership. This choice is usually made to combat declining resources (funds, participation, etc.) that are required to maintain public services.

Although homeowners in these situations are not required to join, many can be encouraged to join if membership is sufficiently beneficial. The CC&Rs can specify that after the homes that don’t join are sold, the new owners will be obliged to join the association and start paying assessments. There is no limit to the number of homes that can be included in an association.

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