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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

What benefits do homeowners' association members receive?

Are you looking to buy a house, condominium or townhouse here in California? In many instances, you will need to pay dues to a homeowners' association. It might be helpful to have an understanding of what benefits homeowners' association members receive in exchange for their dues.

Many California neighborhoods have common areas such as sidewalks, landscaping or pools. The neighborhood in which you are looking to buy may even have a playground, tennis courts or a basketball court. These areas are supposed to be maintained by the HOA. Any repairs needed should also be handled by the association.

Part of the dues you pay is meant to provide a reserve for unexpected, and expensive, repairs. If the repairs will cost more than is in the reserve fund, a special assessment may be charged to cover the remaining costs. However, these tasks are not all the HOA is meant to cover.

Every community has rules that everyone is supposed to follow. If the HOA believes you to be in violation of one of these rules, you should be given the opportunity to either correct the problem or plead your case. If you are unable to pay your dues for any reason, you could end up in hot water with the board.

Many homeowners' association members simply pay their dues without truly understanding why. A question may only come up when a problem arises. If you purchase a property with an HOA, and you have issues with the board, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney who understands the laws governing HOAs in order to determine the best course of action in your situation.

Source: realtor.com, "What Is an HOA? Homeowners Associations -- Explained", Lisa Johnson Mandell, Accessed on Sept. 17, 2017

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