Understanding South Florida Homeowner’s Associations

Understanding South Florida Homeowner’s Associations

In South Florida, if you buy a home, condominium, or townhome that has a homeowner’s association, you will be expected to pay dues and adhere to certain rules.  The association will have elected residents who make up a board and have regular meetings. These organizations are supposed to protect homeowner interests and property values by making sure certain rules are enforced and that owners pay their fees to maintain common areas. By understanding how South Florida homeowner’s associations work, you can anticipate what to expect before buying in a community.

Homeowner’s Associations

Typically, South Florida homeowner’s associations (HOAs) have rules and restrictive covenants, or things you can’t do with your property, and require homeowners to pay fees to the association.  Although Florida law governs HOAs, there can be many variations as to what the fees and dues cover.  For instance, some dues pay for maintaining landscaping while others may apply to a group rate for phone or internet service. In general, dues will be collected monthly or quarterly. The critical thing to remember about homeowner dues is that they are mandatory. The reason this matters is because if you fail to pay your dues, the HOA can actually place a lien on your property and possibly seek foreclosure if they go unpaid for a long enough period.

Do Your Research

Before buying, it’s important to know what you are getting into with an HOA. First and foremost, you will want to see what you will be charged and how the association intends to use your dues.  You may request a copy of the HOA’s budget and an outlay of the dues to get an idea. It’s also advisable to consider the covenants, conditions, and restrictions the HOA will impose upon you and your property beforehand. Often HOAs will have restrictions on things such as yard structures, cosmetic home exterior changes, and pets.  Depending on your plans for your property, these limitations may be significant.

At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are dedicated, Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with the expertise and experience you need to ensure that your interests are protected when managing issues with your HOA. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.

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