Who Owns What in an HOA?
In every community association, whether it's a condominium association or an HOA for single-family homes, there are two types of ownership, common elements, and units or lots. Lots are typically used in a single-family Association were common areas or common elements are more used in a condominium building or complex.
Common elements of those areas are under the control of the Association. However, this doesn't mean that the Association owns them as each owner owns a percentage of those elements. The board of directors for the Association makes decisions on behalf of the owners to repair or replace these elements. The Association usually has some restrictions on the amount of money that the board can spend to repair or replace these items.
Units or lots are the apartments or homes that are owned in fee simple by all the members of the Association or the owners of that community. The recorded plats and plans will define each of these units or lots. Maintenance, repair, or replacement of anything inside the unit is under the control of the homeowner.
There's also a limited common element which is those common elements identified in the declaration or in the condo or Association plan reserved for the use of one or more but not less than all of the unit owners. This could be a balcony, patio, or backyard that is only accessible to each homeowner.
Some items that are controlled, repaired, or replaced by the Association:
- Building siding
- Roof material
- Common area landscaping
- Building or Association signage
- Any common area amenities such as swimming pools, clubhouses, restaurants, playgrounds, hiking and biking trails
- Development exterior lights or sidewalk lights.
- Anything on the exterior of a condo building
Items that should be replaced and are controlled by the homeowner:
- Interior appliances
- Plumbing and electrical inside the unit. (Once plumbing goes outside of the unit it is the responsibility of the Association but be sure to check with the covenants on the details).
- Interior leaks, fires, walls, and ceilings.
Each Association is slightly different so whether it's a home Association or a condo association, it's important to get a copy of the CC&Rs, which stands for covenants, conditions, and restrictions and will cover just about everything possible that the Association is responsible for as well as any rules and regulations that owners need to abide by.
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NTREIS data last updated November 30, 2022.