How Do I Set Up a Homeowners Association?

by Laura Agadoni

If you live in a subdivision or condominium complex and you want to be sure there is a way to enforce covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs;), you will want to make sure there is a homeowners association (HOA) set up. If there isn't one already in place, you can set one up with a group of neighbors who have concerns regarding managing your community. Homeowners associations take on issues such as gardens, pools, children's play areas, maintaining fences and entrance signs, noise abatement, parking areas and dues. Laws vary between states, but there are certain guidelines that most HOAs follow.

Hire a real estate attorney to help you form the association. There are strict laws to follow when forming an HOA. The attorney can save you from making some costly mistakes.

Select a name. You will need a name when you file your paperwork. This name must be unique from any other corporations already on file with your state.

Choose a board of directors. The initial board does not need to be voted in. However, for subsequent boards, HOAs usually hold elections for the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

File to incorporate with your state's corporate filing office.

Establish bylaws. Because these are the rules that HOA members must follow, get input from the community as you are putting the bylaws together.

Determine the membership dues.

Put signs in front of the neighborhood advertising when and where the first HOA meeting will be held.

Hold the first meeting. This is when you officially become a corporate entity. At this first meeting, you may want to set up committees and get people to chair them, such as architectural, pool and social committees. You will also adopt the bylaws at the first meeting.

About the Author

Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • Yellow Post-It with MEETING - on white background image by pmphoto from Fotolia.com