Q&A with Chad Taylor
can enforce their covenants
Q: What is a homeowners association?
A: A homeowners association (HOA) consists of homes in a certain neighborhood area, and its members form a group interested in improving or maintaining the quality of the neighborhood. Condominiums also have associations that maintain the common features of the development and other amenities. Residential developers, especially in Oklahoma County, have formed HOAs to preserve the quality of their development and market a stronger sense of community. Your participation and duties to your neighborhood are controlled by bylaws, restrictive covenants and certain Oklahoma statutes.
Q: Why do HOAs have dues, and can they be required?
A: Dues cover a variety of neighborhood expenses including the upkeep of neighborhood pools or parks, landscaping, security, holiday lighting and community social activities. If a homeowner is not paying dues, the restrictive covenants may allow neighbors on the HOA board to file a lien on the delinquent homeowner's property. Depending on the nature and type of the restrictive covenants, other methods of collecting dues — such as levying fines or suspending privileges — may be available.
Q: HOAs typically have restrictive covenants. What are the most common?
A: Examples include whether you can park a boat or trailer on your property, install a certain type of roof or have an aboveground pool. When you buy your home, it's assumed you have knowledge of the restrictive covenants because they are filed of public record with your property. Neighbors who ignore their restrictive covenants could be subject to an injunction and enforcement lawsuit to bring their property back into compliance with the neighborhood's restrictive covenants. Most HOAs maintain an architectural review committee to oversee new construction and facilitate compliance with restrictive covenants.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER