Whether you live in a neighborhood with an HOA or you are simply thinking about moving to one, it is important to understand how renovations work in communities that have homeowner’s associations. One common misconception is that interior remodeling must be paid for by homeowners, while extra remodeling is covered by the association itself. This issue, however, is not 100% cut and dry. Before you start a renovation under potentially false pretenses, you need to have a grasp of how homeowner’s associations and renovations generally work.
In this guide, you will learn what types of renovations and repairs HOAs typically cover and what remodeling jobs homeowners are usually required to pay for out-of-pocket. These are just general guidelines that apply to most homeowners’ associations. You will, of course, need to look into your HOAs specific bylaws to find out for sure what they will cover in your community. You may also want to talk to the HOA board if you have questions about a project you’re interested in doing soon.
Is the issue communal?
In regard to homeowners’ associations, the term “communal services” refers to anything relating to electricity, sewage, or waterlines. Since these services are used by the entire neighborhood, they are generally known as “common area elements” and homeowners’ associations will gladly pay for problems to be fixed, even if they are inside a home.
If, for example, you have major issues arise with your septic system, the odds are good that your HOA will pay for any necessary materials and labor expenses to have it fixed. If, though, you are bored with the appearance of your master bathroom and you decide to completely remodel it, you are likely to be on the hook for the entire cost.
Be aware that you will probably even have to pay for sewage and plumbing work because you are choosing to have it done; it is not necessary due to a breakdown or problem. Certain HOAs, though, will pay for any electrical and plumbing work, even if it is not a necessity. Therefore, this is an issue that will largely be determined by where you live.
What guidelines do I have to follow?
Even in cases where Carolina homeowners are paying for their entire renovation projects themselves, residents in HOA communities are still required to abide by any remodeling bylaws their associations have set forth. For instance, your HOA may necessitate that all construction vehicles and dumpsters be removed within 48 hours of project completion. Or, there may be a neighborhood noise ordinance that pertains to construction work.
The final word is that you need to know your HOA! If you have questions about a remodeling job that has been on your mind, contact the association president or go to the next HOA board meeting, which usually occur monthly. The more you know before you start your project, the less likely you are to run into any problems. If you do encounter an issue, remedy the problem quickly and you shouldn’t have any long-term issues with your HOA membership.