How do I get out of HOA fees when buying a condo?
Management, finances, or other operational issues with the HOA are the most common driving factors behind a neighborhood’s or multi-unit building’s desire to sever ties with the HOA. Below are some specific reasons members may want to leave an HOA.
- Unfair CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions)
- Unreasonable dues
- Failing responsibilities
- Abuse of power
While it is very difficult to get around HOA fees, here are some paths to explore.
Inquire about the HOA budget
You have the right to ask to study the budget if you own a house or condo with a HOA. Request a copy, then look through the allocations. Ask the HOA president or another board member for clarification if you have any queries.
Join the HOA
As a member of the board, you will have a chance to examine the finances and understand the inner workings. You may, for instance, research the contracts with landscapers, other contractors, and property management businesses. You can see where the money is actually going.
Cut landscaping costs
Your landscaper might be charging too much because they have a long history of working with the HOA. Either find a means for the HOA to lessen the frequency of the services they are receiving, or try to negotiate with the landscaper and let them know the budget has changed.
Look into the property management fees
If you live in a sizable condo building, a property management company will likely be in charge of handling numerous costs. Although they might be the ones to assess the budget, they are unlikely to lower their own fee. This means that you will have to consult the HOA directly to ascertain whether they are paying too much for property management.
Take a look at the insurance policies
The HOA budget is always heavily devoted to insurance. Switching insurance providers or even attempting to negotiate with the present provider is worth a shot. Since this is normally not a deal-breaker, bring this up with the HOA.
Reduce non-essential projects
The HOA dues typically include a number of non-essential expenses, such as non-pressing improvements. If they are included in the current budget, you can think about requesting that they be delayed or scheduled less frequently.
Many HOAs have reserve funds on hand for unforeseen costs. Although getting rid of these reserves may not always be a good option, it is wise to evaluate the sum to see if it is too high. Any excess money should be put to use.
It’s difficult and maybe impossible to waive or reduce HOA dues, but you may be able to argue that you’re in financial trouble. In this situation, you should explain your circumstances—you may be in debt or in another position—and ask for a delay on the payments.