Are My HOAs Paid Through My Mortgage?

HOA Fees Explained by Nashville’s Leading Homeowners Association Services Provider

Are you a recent homeowner in a neighborhood with a homeowners association (HOA)? HOAs are common in many Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin neighborhoods, and membership is usually required for homeowners. One question that often comes up for new members is whether HOA fees are covered in their mortgage. In this blog post, our homeowners association services team answers that question and explores other aspects of HOAs. So, if you’re curious about the nuances of HOA fees, keep reading!

What Is a Homeowners Association?

A homeowners association is a group that represents the collective interests of a community of homeowners. HOAs are usually overseen by a board of directors, who are elected by the members of the association. The board is responsible for enforcing the community’s rules and regulations, as well as maintaining common areas and amenities. They may also enforce restrictions regarding additions you want to make to your house or yard.

HOAs typically collect monthly or annual dues from homeowners, which are used to cover the costs of these services. In addition, HOAs may also provide other benefits to their members, such as discounted insurance rates or access to exclusive events. For many people, the benefit of living in an HOA community is that it simply offers a sense of camaraderie and belonging that they wouldn’t find elsewhere.

How Much Do HOAs Typically Cost Each Month?

As wonderful as HOAs can be, they also have a downside: they’re not cheap. After all, it costs money to maintain the community pool, pay a landscaping company for upkeep, and throw neighborhood events. While some people view HOAs as a nuisance for this reason, many people feel that the number of benefits they provide are worth the expense.

What level of expense are we talking about here? HOA fees can be charged yearly, but monthly is more common. The amount depends on the extent of the amenities the HOA takes responsibility for as well as the affluence of the area. For example, if you live in Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin, monthly dues for HOAs can range anywhere from $100 to $1000, depending on the size and scope of the association. However, the average cost is between $200 and $300 per month.

Are HOA Fees Ever Paid Through Mortgages?

Unfortunately, HOA fees are not paid through a mortgage because the mortgage company and the HOA are different entities. HOA fees are a separate additional expense every month. Keep in mind this also means that once you’ve paid off your house, you’ll still have the same amount of HOA fees to pay. This is because HOAs are always responsible for maintaining shared areas like parks and pools, as well as enforcing community standards regardless of whether you or your mortgage company own your house.

Hoa fees are not paid through mortgage infographic

On the other hand, if you rent a home in a community with an HOA, those fees are likely included in your monthly rent. Even so, it’s a good idea to ask your potential landlord about HOA fees before signing a renter’s agreement.

Are HOAs Mandatory for Homeowners in Certain Communities?

If you move into a community with an HOA, the fees are mandatory. Many HOAs will have new residents sign an HOA agreement before they move in to ensure compliance.

But what if the neighborhood you’ve been living in for years decides they want to start an HOA? If your community decides to start an HOA, you’ll be required to pay fees even if you don’t want to. That’s because HOAs are formed by a majority vote of the community. So even if you’re opposed to it, the majority can still create one. And once an HOA is established, all homeowners in the community are required to pay fees. 

If you’re facing this situation, consider suggesting that your community hire a community association management company like WMCO for homeowners association services.

What Laws Govern Tennessee HOAs?

At the time of writing, there are no HOA-specific laws for single-family dwellings (houses as opposed to condos) in Tennessee. However, according to Tennessee Code 66, HOAs for condominiums created after January 2, 2009, have the right to put a lien on your unit if you refuse to pay your HOA fees. This lien can result in a foreclosure through your HOA, even if you are up-to-date with your mortgage payments.

Tennessee Code 66 definition infographic

Other laws exist in Tennessee that are not HOA-specific but could have an effect on an HOA. One of the most important laws that homeowners should be familiar with is the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act. HOAs are usually set up legally as a nonprofit organization so they fall under the scope of this act, which provides a framework for how the HOA can be created, operated, and dissolved. 

Additionally, the act outlines the rights and responsibilities of HOA board members and homeowners. As a result, it is beneficial for both board members and homeowners to be familiar with the act and how it applies to their HOA.

What to Do if You Disagree With Your HOA

While most homeowners associations are well-run organizations that help to keep neighborhoods clean and safe, situations may arise in which residents disagree with a rule or feel that the monthly fees are too high. Disagreements are a normal part of living in close proximity to other people, and there is usually a compromise to be found.

The key is to handle the situation in a calm and professional manner. Start by reaching out to your HOA board and expressing your concerns. They may be willing to make some changes or adjustments based on your input – keep in mind that the calmer you are when you present these concerns, the more likely the HOA is to be amenable. But if they’re not, you can always try to work within the system by running for a position on the board. 

Remember, even small changes can make a big difference in how an HOA operates. And, by working together with the HOA board, you can help ensure that your neighborhood remains a desirable place to live.

Hire a Homeowners Association Services Provider to Manage HOA Fees and More

Homeowners association fees are a separate expense from your mortgage, and it is crucial that you continue to pay them on time. If you don’t, the consequences can affect your future living in the neighborhood. But if you’re struggling with fees or other aspects of your HOA, there are steps you can take to resolve the issues peacefully, starting with hiring an HOA management company. 

At Westwood, our team offers comprehensive homeowners association services in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and the surrounding areas. Our goal is to keep everyone happy and avoid legal disputes between residents and their HOA board. Our community association management company has extensive experience working with HOAs of all sizes, so contact us today to learn how we can help manage yours.

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