If you live in a home under the authority of an HOA, you will have to pay fees. Fee payments may occur monthly, every quarter, annually or by some other schedule.
When you purchased your home, you agreed to be a part of the HOA. That includes paying any fees levied by the organization, even if they change with time. You may wonder what these payments cover and how they benefit you.
Common area upkeep
In most HOA communities, there are common areas the organization maintains. Maintenance includes lawn care and managing amenities. For example, if you have a community pool, your fees will help to keep it operational. It may pay lifeguards and ensure all areas are safe and clean.
Services offered to you
Some HOAs will provide various services as part of the community amenities. Your fees may pay partly for these. For example, some organizations will cover trash removal costs. A common expense is security in gated communities. They may also provide fire alarm systems and pest control.
The fees you pay as a homeowner living in the HOA also will cover operational costs for the organization. While there may be limited expenses, they still are part of your responsibility as a member. For example, postage costs and office equipment may fall under this category.
Your HOA should be able to answer any questions you have about how it spends your money. You should have access to spending accounts and be able to assess them if you feel something is not adding up. Be aware, though, the HOA also has the right to increase fees over time as expenses increase.