When you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll be faced with a wide range of options. One factor that can significantly influence your decision is whether the home has a homeowners’ association (HOA). While HOAs offer certain advantages, they also have their disadvantages. One of them is mandatory monthly payments. Let’s find out the nature of these fees and your possible actions.

white building with several apartments

What Is HOA

This private organization manages common ownership issues in a particular building. That is, in this condominium, each apartment has an owner. There are also common areas such as porches, stairs, lawns in front of the house, etc. The HOA monitors this common property, the functional condition of the building, etc.

The HOA has elected leadership, collects money, sets rules that owners and residents must obey, and so on. That is, the composition of the management is determined by the residents themselves. In this case, they are not powerless, and for their part, they monitor the fulfillment of their duties.

HOA Fees

Very often, you can hear about strict requirements from the HOA. An image of pure evil has formed in the minds of some Americans, but the situation is not always so dire. Of course, maintenance of common property requires money, which HOA collects from residents. You can read in more detail what do HOA fees cover

In general, funds go towards the following purposes:

  • Maintain common property such as lawns, grounds, and parking lots.
  • Maintenance and repair of the building.
  • Related services and additional amenities include building security or a swimming pool.
  • Insurance that covers those aspects not covered by private home insurance.

Thus, management determines the budget based on the previous year’s experience, considering increased prices for materials and services. As an owner, you have the right to check the budget plan and see all documents.

Although the purpose of the fees is approximately the same, the amount of fees varies significantly between HOAs. It can vary from a couple of hundreds to several thousand. The amount largely depends on the number of additional amenities and the age of the building.

Fees Calculation

To understand whether you can negotiate for a lower fee, it’s worth first looking at the process of calculating the payment amount. This figure is not taken out of thin air. Management develops a budget for the next year. Usually, it includes all expenses, as well as a certain amount for unexpected payments.

After development, the budget is approved. HOA management takes the total and divides it by the number of households. Next, divide the resulting figure into 12 or 4 parts, depending on the regularity of payments in this HOA. That is, you are dealing with a legal document adopted for the coming year.

Can You Deduct the Fees?

As we wrote earlier, the HOA is an official organization, and it is difficult to dictate terms. In exceptional cases, residents can force management to reconsider the amount of payments, but this requires a collective decision of residents. This method can get complicated if you don’t have organizational talents.

If you suspect the commission is too high, you can resolve the issue individually through the court. In this case, you need to collect the necessary package of documents and file a claim against the management of the HOA. However, this method also involves significant effort, time, and resources.

In addition, do not forget that theoretically, the management of the HOA should listen to the demands of residents and may, in some cases, meet them halfway. However, in practice, it is almost impossible to reduce the fee because it is determined based on upcoming expenses. In this case, finding an apartment in an HOA with more modest costs is better.

Can You Ignore the Fees?

You may be tempted to ignore the HOA requirements and not pay anything. In this case, be prepared for several negative consequences. Firstly, no one will forget about your debt. Moreover, a penalty will be charged.

The HOA will then take action and suspend your access to the amenities you are not paying for. Therefore, do not be surprised if you are not allowed into the pool or are not allowed to park in your usual place. If these measures do not make you come to your senses, the HOA will sue. We will not mention that in such processes, the law is entirely on the side of the HOA, and you should not have vain hopes.

The final result depends on the total amount of debt. In some cases, the HOA may even qualify to buy your apartment. Therefore, it is better not to ignore the requirements for payment of fees.


HOAs are a common form of property management, so chances are good that you will purchase a home in one. At the same time, you should find out in advance the amount of monthly payments and other details, since it is quite difficult to come to an agreement with the management later. Also, don’t ignore payments, hoping that everything will work out. This can lead to dire consequences. It is best to select housing in an HOA that offers optimal conditions initially.

We hope you found this blog post on Can You Negotiate the HOA Fees? useful. Be sure to check out our post on Tips for First-Time Home Buyers for more great tips!

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