COA & HOA Property Management Legal Aspects

Living in a beautiful community with neighbors who share the same values as you is a dream come true for many homeowners. However, when it comes to managing your property, things can get challenging, and this is where HOA (Homeowners Association) and COA (Condominium Association) come in. These associations play a significant role in maintaining and managing your community. 

As a homeowner, it is vital to understand the legal aspects of HOA and COA property management to avoid potential conflicts or disputes. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the legal aspects of HOA and COA property management.

First, it’s essential to understand the purpose of HOAs and COAs. These associations enforce the community’s rules, regulations, and covenants to ensure that the property and the neighborhood are well maintained (Florida Statutes § 720.301 for HOAs and § 718.103 for COAs). The association may also assist with essential services like garbage collection, maintenance of common areas, or landscaping. Knowing that these associations can impose fees or fines on homeowners who violate community rules is crucial (Florida Statutes § 720.305 for HOAs and § 718.303 for COAs).

Secondly, homeowners should be aware of their legal rights and obligations. When you purchase a property in an HOA or COA, you automatically become a member, and the association’s rules and regulations bind you. So, before buying a property in a community governed by an HOA or COA, it is crucial to read and understand the association’s bylaws and governing documents. However, homeowners also have legal rights, including the right to inspect the association’s records (Florida Statutes § 720.303(5) for HOAs and § 718.111(12) for COAs), attend meetings, vote on elections or changes to governing documents, and even file a lawsuit against the association if necessary.

Thirdly, knowing what to do in case of HOA disputes or conflicts is essential. Suppose a homeowner has a dispute with the association over community rules, a fine, or any other issue. In that case, the first step should be to contact the association’s board and resolve the conflict amicably. However, if the dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation, it may be escalated to legal action. In this case, consulting an experienced HOA and COA attorney is essential.

Fourthly, homeowners must understand the laws that govern HOAs and COAs. States have laws that govern the formation, management, and operation of HOA and COA associations. For example, in Florida, the Condominium Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 718) and the Homeowners’ Association Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 720) govern the establishment and operation of COAs and HOAs, respectively. It’s essential to consult a lawyer who understands these laws to ensure that your actions as a homeowner or board member comply with the regulations.

Lastly, homeowners must also familiarize themselves with the financial aspects of HOAs and COAs. Associations must maintain financial records and make financial reports available to homeowners (Florida Statutes § 720.303(6) for HOAs and § 718.111(13) for COAs). These reports include budgets, income and expense statements, and balance sheets that show the association’s financial status. Homeowners should review these documents carefully to ensure the association is financially stable.

Final Words

As a homeowner in an HOA or COA community, it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects of property management. By doing so, you’ll avoid potential conflicts and disputes with your association, know your rights and responsibilities, and make informed decisions. Our team of HOA and condominium attorneys at Perez Mayoral, P.A. has extensive experience in property management disputes and can help you navigate any legal issues. Contact us today for a free case review.