What’s an HOA and Why Should I Care?

If you’re a first time renter, you may be unfamiliar with the ins and outs of renting. Rental agreements, security deposits, and renter responsibilities versus property owner responsibilities may be a huge learning curve. As you’re going through your rental property paperwork, you’ll see something called an HOA, or a homeowner’s association. Lo and behold, there are even more rules and regulations this governing body called an HOA has put into effect as well on your rental property. Mountain-N-Plains Real Estate Services in Fort Collins is the best property management company in Fort Collins and the surrounding communities, including Loveland and Wellington. In this blog post, we’ll explain what an HOA is and why you need to care about them. Contact us today for your residential rental property!

WHAT’S AN HOA?

An HOA, or homeowner’s association, is an association created by either the property owners or the home builder and the owner of the land whose primary purpose is to maintain the value of the homes in the stated area. Rules, or covenants, are enacted that all property owner(s) must abide by. If these rules are broken, notices are sent and penalties are assessed. These rules are agreed to by the property owner(s) upon purchasing the property.

WHAT’S AN HOA DO?

The primary purpose of an HOA is to enforce the covenants and bylaws agreed upon by the property owner. Every HOA is different and has different rules. Most HOA’s, however, cover the same two areas:

  1. State of the outside of the property.
  2. The common areas.

For example, some HOAs state that your backyard fence can only be a certain height, the porch can only be one particular design, and the color you paint your house has to be approved. The purpose of this is to protect your property’s value should say a neighbor neglect the care of his or her property.

Most HOAs also have shared amenities that would not be possible without your HOA fees. For example, swimming pools and a clubhouse are important to homeowners who want a fun and easy way to spend the summer with their kids. Many pools offer swim lessons in the summer and throw pool parties for special occasions like the Fourth of July. For this reason alone, most people readily agree to HOA fees and requirements.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A RENTER

As a renter, the care of the property is now largely your responsibility. Most homeowners have you mow the lawn and trim the weeds. You are responsible to not change any architectural details of the home, as well as to abide by the HOAs bylaws. For example, if the HOA outlaws parking a camper in front of your home for over a week, that means your parents can’t come and stay in their camper all summer long outside your home. If it snows, you’re responsible for shoveling the sidewalks. If a storm hits, you’re responsible to pick up broken branches in your yard. Major fixes, such as a tree falling on your rental property during the storm, fall on the homeowner(s) shoulders.

HOW MOUNTAIN-N-PLAINS CAN HELP

As the best residential property management company in Fort Collins and Greeley, Mountain-N-Plains offers the best selection of rental properties. We also will help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of HOAs and answer any questions you may have regarding the adherence to the HOA’s rules. If you receive a notice from the HOA as a renter, give us a call, and we’ll help. If you live in the Northern Colorado area, including Loveland, contact us today to find your perfect rental property!