Homeowners living in a sub development or condominium complex are likely to be members of a home owners association (“HOA”). HOA’s generally have the authority to set certain rules pertaining to the sub development as well as provide services to homeowners. In order to operate HOA’s are generally also authorized to collect money through assessments. This article will examine the basics of HOA assessments. If you have questions regarding HOA assessments in Austin, Pflugerville, or Round Rock, contact the real estate attorneys at the Law Office of Farren Smith.
What is an HOA assessment?
HOA’s typically provide a variety of services to the communities in which they operate. These often include landscaping, common area maintenance, amenity maintenance, tennis courts, playgrounds, pools, private roads, lighting, and so forth. HOA’s pay for these common operating costs by levying assessments on homeowners. There are three primary types of assessments HOA’s use to collect funds:
- A regular or annual assessment is a uniform assessment levied against all homeowners in a regular manner such as monthly or annually. Many homeowners think of regular assessments as “dues” paid to the HOA.
- A special assessment is a uniform, one-time, assessment levied against all homeowners due to a special circumstance such as unexpected repairs needed as a result of a natural disaster.
- An individual assessment is an assessment levied in an individual, non-uniform way. These can be either regular or one-time, and vary from homeowner to homeowner generally based on use.
The type, amount, and frequency an HOA is authorized to levy is based on the governing documents of the association.
Authority to Levy Assessments and the Obligations to Pay
HOA’s derive their authority from their governing documents, which will almost always include a provision allowing for assessments to be levied. Governing documents include thing such as the bylaws and declaration founding the HOA. The amount and type of assessments authorized is determined by the governing documents. For example, an HOA’s governing documents will generally determine how much and at what interval a regular assessment is to be collected. It will also dictate under what circumstances a special assessment may be levied. It is important to note that if the HOA is a condominium association, the Texas Uniform Condominium Act provides statutory authority to levy assessments. Thus, in the case of a condominium association, the governing documents do not need to explicitly authorize assessments. See Tex. Prop Code