Homeowners Associations ("HOA") allows the owners to administrate and manage their community. One of the main purposes of the HOA is to enforce a set of covenants (promises) which bind all owners. The covenants are usually contained in a document called a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions ("CC&Rs"). Many HOAs include common property, such as pools, greenways and private roads. Individual property owners are required to pay assessments (usually annually) to enable the HOA to operate the association and maintain the common property.
The main source of legal authority allowing an HOA to enforce its rules comes from the recorded CC&Rs and Bylaws. Because the documents are recorded on the county real estate records, home buyers become legally bound by the valid provisions of these documents when they purchase their homes. Condominium and Planned Community HOAs also have the additional backing of state law, which clarifies legal authority in many ways. HOA laws may also provide additional legal authority not contained in the HOA's documents. All condominium HOAs and many subdivision HOAs are governed by specific state law. HOA actions are usually upheld in court if the authority is provided in the documents or by statute and the board acts reasonably in carrying out the authority.
The CC&Rs and Bylaws are recorded documents and potential buyers should obtain a current copy and read them before buying. The CC&Rs permit the HOA to make rules and regulations governing the conduct of the members and the use of the common property.