With over 350,000 homeowners associations (HOA) in the United States, a large portion of these associations are responsible for managing townhome communities.
If you are in the market for a new townhome that is managed by an HOA, it is crucial to understand exactly how townhome associations operate.
What do Townhome Associations do?
Townhome associations serve the same function as any other homeowners association. Their ultimate mission is to help maintain the quality of life for community residents and protect their property value.
These associations achieve these goals by enforcing regulations and collecting assessments from homeowners, while also taking care of maintenance repairs and upkeep of common areas.
Through the homeowner’s monthly fees, HOA’s fund and provide services that keep the community in good shape.
Common HOA services include lawn maintenance, garbage removal, and building repairs. Luxury communities may also provide more exclusive services such as 24-hour valet and a concierge.
Many HOAs also help manage community amenities, including neighborhood pools, gyms, and clubhouses.
What Rules do they Have?
For homeowner associations to carry out their functions to the best of their ability, they need cooperation from the community members. Townhome association’s expectations of unit owners are laid out as rules in their covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) within the governing documents.
Each townhome association is responsible for creating their own set of CC&Rs upon establishment.
Many common townhome associations rules revolve around financial responsibilities, pet regulations, rental guidelines, and maintenance standards.
Whatever the CC&Rs may be, they are not voluntary. Residents have a legal obligation to follow these HOA rules or they may face fines or legal action.
How they Differ from Condo HOAs
The major difference between townhomes and condos comes down to ownership. Condo owners have title to everything within the unit, while townhome owners have the right to the inside of the unit as well as the land that the unit sits on.
Despite this difference, townhome associations operate very similarly to condo HOAs. Both are responsible for maintaining the common grounds, structures and systems in the community and both rely on funding from unit owners.
Often, townhome owners are responsible for more upkeep than condo owners, which means the HOA is less involved. This lower involvement by HOA frequently results in lower monthly dues for townhome owners.
Since townhome owners own that land that their property sits on, they may be responsible for maintaining the outside. However, frequently HOA will still take care of this area through monthly fees.
Townhome associations help to preserve communities and take some of the burdens off residents.