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  • Writer's pictureJosé R. Hernández

What Are HOA Fees, and What Do They Cover?

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Homeowners Association (HOA) fees are essential to owning a home, as they cover the cost of maintaining common areas and services within a neighborhood or community. These fees can vary greatly depending on the size, amenities, and location of the property but generally include expenses such as landscaping, street repairs, building maintenance, and recreational facility upkeep. HOA fees also provide homeowners access to amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, and other facilities that might not otherwise be available. By paying these dues regularly each month or year, homeowners help ensure their neighborhood remains safe and attractive for everyone there.


Lake view walkway in HOA community


HOA Fees Mostly Cover Community Services

In addition to maintaining common areas and amenities, HOA fees often cover essential services such as trash removal, waste management, water, and security. HOAs typically contract with waste management companies to provide residents with regular trash pickup and disposal services. Waste management fees may include recycling programs and hazardous waste disposal, depending on the community's needs. Water bills are often included in the monthly HOA fees, covering residents' usage and the cost of maintaining the community's water supply and infrastructure. Finally, security services may be provided by an HOA, ranging from hiring private security patrols, installing surveillance equipment, or even partnering with local law enforcement to provide additional safety measures. These services contribute to a safer, cleaner, and more comfortable living environment within the community and are made possible through the regular payment of HOA fees.


Association Insurance

Association insurance is another essential service covered by HOA fees. This type of insurance protects the common areas and structures within the community, such as the clubhouse, pool area, or playground, against damage caused by natural disasters, accidents, or vandalism. It also offers liability coverage in case of injuries or accidents occurring on common property. In addition to these benefits, association insurance often includes directors' and officers' liability coverage, which shields HOA board members from personal financial liability if legal disputes or claims arise. This type of insurance is a vital expense for HOA communities, as it helps minimize the financial risks of owning property and keeping everyone safe. Therefore, homeowners must pay their HOA fees promptly to maintain the community's insurance coverage, providing everyone involved with added peace of mind.


Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and repair services are essential components covered by HOA fees, which ensure that the community's common areas and facilities remain functional, safe, and attractive. Such services may include regular landscaping and lawn care, repaving roads, fixing sidewalks, and repairing building or equipment damage. Additionally, HOA fees may cover the cost of periodic inspections and preventative maintenance on structures such as retaining walls, drainage systems, and roofs, which helps avoid costly repairs or replacements. By providing maintenance and repair services, HOAs aim to ensure the community maintains its curb appeal and retains property values. These efforts are crucial to creating a harmonious living environment and fostering a sense of community pride for homeowners.


Amenities

HOA fees cover a wide range of amenities that contribute to homeowners' overall well-being and comfort. These may include facilities like swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, and playgrounds, all maintained to the highest standards through regular upkeep and cleaning. Overall, HOA fees provide excellent value and help create a safe, attractive, and welcoming environment for all homeowners in a given community.


Reserve Funds

Reserve Funds are another essential part of what HOA fees cover. These funds are savings accounts established by the HOA to cover unexpected expenses or emergencies. For instance, if the community requires a major repair, such as a new roof, pool resurfacing, or repaving the roads, the reserve fund can help pay for the costs. The reserve fund typically includes three types: a capital reserve fund for more extensive repairs or replacements, a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses, and an inflation fund to cover the rising costs of services and materials. These funds' maintenance and management are critical, ensuring the community can handle financial emergencies without burdening its residents or facing insolvency. Generally, reserve funds are kept separate from the operating account, with their own budgets and reporting requirements, as they require more significant financial management and planning. As a result, homeowners' payments towards reserve funds are a vital contribution to the community's long-term financial stability and maintenance.


Not Included

While HOA fees cover a wide range of services and amenities, some expenses, such as special assessments and fines, are omitted. Special assessments are fees incurred by the association for repairs and improvements not covered by the reserve fund or the regular operating budget. For example, such expenses may include repaving the roads or repairing community facilities damaged by natural disasters. These costs are usually spread across all homeowners in the community, with a pro-rata share determined by the property's value or square footage. Additionally, fines may be imposed on homeowners for violating the community's rules and regulations, such as noise pollution, not keeping the lawn well-trimmed, and parking violations. Fines are usually designed to discourage residents from engaging in behavior that may disrupt the community's peace and harmony. Therefore, homeowners need to be aware of the community's guidelines and behavioral expectations to avoid incurring such expenses.


In conclusion, HOA fees are essential for maintaining a harmonious living environment and fostering community pride. They cover regular services like landscaping, lawn care, and amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, and playgrounds. Additionally, they include reserve funds to help pay for unexpected expenses or emergencies. While special assessments and fines may not be included in the fee structure, homeowners must still understand their responsibilities when it comes to following the community's rules and regulations. Overall, HOA fees provide excellent value by creating a safe, attractive space with plenty of activities for residents to enjoy while preserving property values over time.


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At Don Asher Management, we've proudly served the Central Florida community for over 70 years. As a locally-owned company with a strong understanding of the local market, we've cultivated substantial relationships with local and national contractors to provide top-quality services. We're dedicated to meeting your Property and HOA management needs with a personalized touch, combining our decades of experience and commitment to detail for unmatched service. We're confident in our ability to deliver exceptional services tailored just for you. Choose Don Asher Management - where personalized attention meets professional service.

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