When buying a home or condominium subject to governance by a homeowner’s association (HOA), there are a few more documents you’ll want to review beyond those found in Schedule II B of your preliminary title report and others found at federal, Tribal, State, or local agencies. HOA’s have their own documents that a thorough read should help assure you that your purchase will be a sound one.
Documents for HOA Due Diligence
- Articles of Incorporation. Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Secretary of State.
- Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. Applicable bylaws and rules and regulations and amendments are generally filed with the Secretary of State.
- Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Homeowner’s and condominium associations are generally governed by equitable servitudes. CC&Rs are equitable servitudes. Equitable servitudes are private, contract-based land use rules imposed upon all parcels in a residential or commercial subdivision. Equitable servitudes “run with the land” meaning that, regardless of whose name is on title, any land use restrictions survive the subsequent owner’s conveyance to a successor owner.
- Budgets and Records. Financial records and governing documents tell the history of the HOA. Financial statements and board of directors’ meeting minutes give you a picture of the financial and governance “health” of the organization. Ask for these records so you can review and approve them within the inspection and due diligence period specified in your real estate purchase contract. Look for reserve funds to assure capital maintenance of major systems to avoid special assessments.
- Hierarchy of documents. When purchasing in a homeowner’s or condominium association, look for an explicit statement regarding what document controls in the case of conflict between documents. For example, it may be stated that the CC&Rs control over the Articles of Incorporation, which in turn control over the Bylaws.
Buyers. Use TC Review to have a TC Certified attorney help you understand the ins-and-outs of the HOA due diligence documents.
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This posting is not legal advice. Legal advice is based on specific facts. This information is general in nature.