Homeowners who live in a condominium or similar type of community are subject to the rules of the managing homeowners association. The Homeowner's Association (HOA) compiles these rules in documents called the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R). As a homeowner, you have access to the CC&R documents. Keep a copy of the CC&R in your records in case you ever disagree with an HOA action or decision.
CC&Rs Govern Your HOA
Before you purchase a home in an HOA-managed community, have your lawyer take a look at the CC&R documents. You want to fully understand your monthly HOA fees, your special assessment payments, and all the rules you'll need to follow once you move in.
Homeowners Can Change CC&Rs
The CC&R documents can be changed if a minimum number of homeowners in the community vote to make the change. Your HOA will hold meetings throughout the year to inform homeowners of new issues that will affect the community. Homeowner voting usually takes place at these meetings.
If you can't convince enough homeowners to agree, or even show up to meetings, it's unlikely that you'll be able to make a change to the CC&R documents - although a lawyer might be able to help.
CC&R Rules and Fines
The CC&R documents not only provide the rules to be followed by homeowners and the HOA, but also state the fines for any infractions. If you disagree with a rule or don't think that you broke it, CC&R documents usually grant you the right to tell your side of the story at an HOA hearing.
For many homeowners, the most important information in the CC&R is the HOA yearly budget. The CC&R will tell you how much your HOA can charge for ordinary maintenance, as well as special charges for more substantial repairs and improvements to the property.
However, your HOA must always follow state law. When it doesn't, an experienced real estate lawyer may be able to help you and other homeowners get a reduction in excessive charges.
A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding HOA CC&R documents is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact real estate lawyer.