Do Renters Pay HOA Fees?


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If you’re looking for rental accommodation with access to amenities, you may already have HOAs in mind. You can also associate the term “HOA” with the possibility of high fees. Do apartments have HOA fees? If so, do you have to pay HOA fees when renting? You are not alone if you have a hard time answering these questions.

You can find apartments, townhouses and condos for rent in HOA communities. The question of who is responsible for paying the fees may be a bit more complicated to answer since the arrangement depends on how your rental agreement is put together. Learn everything you need to know about HOAs and their fees if you are considering renting in this type of community.

What is an HOA?

A homeowner’s association, commonly referred to as a HOA, is a legal body designed to maintain the common spaces of a community. An HOA can require residents of the community to meet specific standards. A community’s HOA also maintains community amenities. HOA standards are called Covenants, Codes and Restrictions (CCRs), and they govern maintenance, landscaping, insurance, finance, and the community.

Many HOAs exist in subdivisions with condominiums, townhouses, or single-family homes, meaning that multiple parties reside in the same building or complex. An HOA means that all residents are equally responsible for the upkeep of common areas. Common areas, similar to what you might find in a luxury apartment, can include:

  • Shared outdoor space
  • Pavilions
  • Elevators
  • Fitness rooms
  • Landscaping
  • Parking garages
  • Roofing
  • Security doors
  • Sidewalks
  • Swimming pools

In addition to setting rules to maintain the community, HOAs ask residents of the community to pay fees. Depending on where you live, the size of the community, and the average property value, HOA fees can range from around $ 100 to over $ 1,000. Whether an HOA governs a building such as a condo structure or a neighborhood of separate structures, HOA fees help protect property values ​​and maintain the quality of life for residents.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of HOAs for tenants?

Living in an HOA has various advantages. However, you will have to weigh these advantages with some disadvantages to decide if living in an HOA community is right for you.

HOAs have several advantages, such as the following:

  • Less maintenance: You won’t have to deal with tedious yard work if you live in an HOA community. HOAs typically maintain the property’s landscape and take care of maintenance like tree pruning and pest control.
  • Simplified monthly invoices: Many HOAs include utilities in the monthly HOA fees. Basic utilities such as water, gas, recycling and waste are usually covered with structural insurance costs, general maintenance costs and reserve funds in one consolidated amount.
  • Access to amenities: HOA communities tend to offer access to a variety of recreational facilities. You’ll find HOAs with shared amenities like gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses and more.
  • Dispute resolution: Your community’s homeowners association exists to enforce the rules and regulations, which means you can let the HOA take care of any inconsiderate neighbors you come across instead of facing them yourself.
  • Sense of community: HOAs foster a sense of community, allowing neighbors to get to know each other through social events and shared amenities.

The disadvantages of HOAs are as follows:

  • Expensive fees: HOA fees can get expensive. If you aren’t interested in the amenities and don’t mind taking care of the maintenance on your own, the high fees may seem out of your reach.
  • Restricted customization: HOAs often don’t allow you to change the exterior of your home. You may also face restrictions on the types of plants or furniture you can install in your outdoor space.
  • Less privacy: What is the flip side of the social aspect? Less privacy. There are many things that you can and cannot do in your community.
  • Rules, rules and other rules: You’ll come across rules that govern everything from pool use and parking to what pets you can and can’t have, and probably everything in between. If you don’t like the idea of ​​micromanaging, you may find it more enjoyable to rent in another type of community.

Do tenants have to pay HOA fees?

Homeowners associations charge a fee to property owners to maintain landscaping and common areas. Do tenants or landlords pay HOA fees when you rent property included in an HOA? Do tenants pay HOA directly? The answers to these questions depend on your situation.

The lease you sign ultimately decides who pays the HOA fees. Chances are you will cover the HOA costs one way or another if you are renting in a community with an HOA. The owner of the property will pass expenses incurred through HOA fees to you, either indirectly, through a higher rent, or directly.

The owner often takes care of paying the HOA fees. If the tenant doesn’t pay these fees, the landlord ends up on the hook. If the HOA fees are not paid, the HOA can foreclose the property. However, while your landlord usually handles the fees to make sure they are paid, you can expect your rent amount to factor in the price of HOA dues.

In some cases, a rental agreement will state that the tenant must pay the HOA fees directly to the association. You are then responsible for ensuring that these costs are covered. If your lease doesn’t mention paying the HOA fees, your landlord can’t make you start paying the fees in the middle of the lease without updating the rental agreement to reflect the terms you both agree to.

HOA can offer a great place to rent if you want access to amenities and don’t mind following the rules of the community. You will likely have to cover the additional costs of living in these communities as a tenant, but answering “Do tenants have to pay the HOA fees?” is not a simple yes or no. You could cover the HOA costs by paying a higher rent, or you may need to pay the costs directly to the association. You should always check your rental agreement to make sure you understand the exact terms that you need to follow.

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