If you’re looking at rental homes in Northern Colorado that belong to a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), you may feel unsure about how that will affect you as a tenant, rather than as a homeowner. If you find a rental you love within an HOA community, don’t let that drive you away from signing a lease. Instead, take a little extra time to learn about your responsibilities as an HOA renter so that you know what to expect and what to do.
What Is an HOA?
Many neighborhoods are part of a homeowners association, an organization that is responsible for managing, maintaining, and overseeing the individual residential community or subdivision. HOA’s are put in place to ensure that the common areas within the community are clean and taken care of. It also places regulation on the individual homes in order to maintain a cohesive appearance.
A home that is part of an HOA must follow the requirements dictated by its individual bylaws, covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Each HOA will have its own set of rules and regulations to enforce depending on the needs and desires of the community. In addition, members are required to pay monthly or annual dues to cover the costs of maintaining common areas, landscaping, and managing other aspects of the community.
What Are Bylaws and CC&Rs?
The bylaws are the rules and guidelines that determine how the entity should be operated. These bylaws primarily focus on regulating official business of the HOA such as meetings, voting processes, board member nominations, and other aspects or regular operations. As the renter, you shouldn’t be affected by the bylaws as they pertain primarily to the HOA Board members.
However, you are required to abide by a set of rules and regulations established by the HOA known as the covenants, conditions, and restrictions. The CC&Rs of the HOA are legally enforceable rules that all residents within the community must abide by. These rules vary by HOA but may include restrictions on pets, paint colors, fencing, parking, and much more. They may also include smaller guidelines on aspects of daily life such as visibility of trash cans, satellite dishes, or even if you can line dry laundry outside of the home.
What Are You as a Renter Responsible for Under an HOA?
As a renter, there are many things to know about homeowners associations, but most importantly, you should be sure that you understand the rules that will directly affect you as you live at the house.
For example, restrictions on exterior paint colors or fence height will likely not be something that you should be concerned about as those decisions are not yours to make. However, restrictions on daily actions such as where the trash bin should be stored are pertinent to you as the tenant of the house.
When you sign your rental lease, you should be provided with documents that clearly outline the HOA rules and CC&Rs. Make sure that you carefully review this information and have a detailed understanding of what you are responsible for. If you have any questions, you must reach out to your property manager or landlord quickly to avoid any unintentional violations.
Who Is Responsible for Paying the HOA Dues?
Typically, the homeowner is responsible for paying the annual fee for their HOA. This amount may be factored in to the price of the rent, but the homeowners usually assume the responsibility of getting them paid. In limited cases, the HOA dues are an additional fee that the tenant will be responsible for paying directly. Failing to pay HOA dues can put the property at risk of a lien or even foreclosure, so it is extremely important that you as the renter know who is responsible for annual fees.
What Happens If You Violate HOA Regulations?
If you as the renter violate rules or CC&Rs, the homeowners association cannot take direct action against you. They are required to notify the property manager or homeowner who will then be required to address the problem.
Adhering to the guidelines set forth by the HOA will be a condition of your rental lease, so breaking any of those rules could cost you fines or put you in violation of your rental agreement. The best way to avoid a problem is to ensure that you have a detailed understanding of the HOA.
For any questions or concerns about our rental homes in Northern Colorado under HOAs, please contact us at All Property Services as soon as possible.