Love ‘em or sometimes hate ‘em, the Homeowner’s Association is in place to make sure your abode and those around you live in perfect harmony. As I’ve noticed some clients of mine have a vague idea about this so let me take the time now to explain further who they are and what they really do.
As required by law, all subdivisions, condominiums and townhouses should be organized and managed by members of the homebuyers, which in turn is automatically members of the association (HOA). Amongst officers and directors, there is a president, secretary and a treasurer.
The Association is managed either by the members of the organization or by the management team imposed on the homeowners by the developers. The latter is often the case with condominium projects.
According to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board by-Laws, here is a brief run-down of their powers and duties.
- Consult, approve, adopt and amend the articles of incorporation and by-laws, rules and regulations;
- Hear and review complaints of its members;
- Regulate, maintain and modify its common areas;
- Regulate access to, or passage through the area for the purpose of privacy;
- Hire, discharge or contact managing agents to ensure the full functioning and operation of the association;
- Subject to consultation and approval, it may acquire, hold or encumber and convey in its own name any right, title to or interest in real or personal property with provisions;
- Ensure availability of quality water at a reasonable price;
- With consultation, grant easements, leases, concessions and authority to use common areas;
- Collect reasonable fees for the use of open spaces, facilities and services of the association;
- Cause compliance with regards to the National Building Code;
- Subject to consultation and approval to allow establishment of certain institutions;
- Suspend privileges of and services to and/or impose sanctions upon its members;
- Petition for the creation of a separate barangay;
- Exercise any other powers conferred by the by-laws and and the HLURB necessary for the governance and operation of the association.
Advantages (and disadvantages?)
Having a good Homeowner’s Association will definitely contribute to the success of your village or building. With the fees collected, they are able to maintain and improve your area for the betterment of its members. There is a certain standard that is being met and this will help in the steady increase of your property’s value.
Along with its rules and regulations, it may sometimes come off as intrusive as there are things we want that we won’t be able to do. Also, they can impose a fine or a penalty that can result in more expenses for you or even be forced into foreclosure. There have been reports as well of malversation of funds of abusive board members.
As Homeowner’s Association may be authoritative or meddlesome sometimes, they are still beneficial for the community as a whole. Just by abiding by the rules and settling your dues in time can help them perform their duties better. Being an active member of your HOA can help you understand how they work and assure you all your concerns are addressed. You’ll notice that you have the power over some matters as well.
By: Peter Norrdell
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