What’s the Difference Between a Condo Association and an HOA?


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What's the Difference Between a Condo Association and an HOAWhat’s the difference between a condo association and an HOA? The chief difference lies in the type of property development the given association governs and administers. A condominium association regulates a common structure containing multiple units. But a homeowners association governs a planned development comprised of single-family lots.

HOAs and condo associations are the most closely related of the community association types. However, there are differences between the two of them. Particularly, they differ when it comes to how their organization, as well as how they operate.

Condominium Associations and How They Differ from HOAs

Condominium owners have the power to manage their units. However, a Board of Directors handles most of the association’s duties. General common elements in a condominium, such as lobbies, sidewalks, common hallways, and facilities are available to be used by all unit owners. There are also limited common elements. They include balconies and patios limited to just some unit owners. The Board of Directors can assign the designation of limited common elements. However, in some instances, the condo association’s declaration includes these designations.

Maintenance, repair, and replacement expenses are also among the main differences between a condo association and an HOA. The condominium association is typically responsible for the maintenance of general and limited common elements. But it’s the unit’s owner who pays for the repair, maintenance, and replacement costs for their unit as well as for all elements designated for their exclusive use.

The Board of Directors can determine your annual expenses. Generally speaking, the larger the unit, the bigger the share of common expenses the owner must pay.

Homeowners Associations and What Makes Them Different

Homeowners residing within a specific area comprise the HOA. It is created once a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) is recorded in local land records. Its main purpose is to enforce covenants and restrictions while also maintaining community facilities. Unlike in a condo association, the land records do not record the HOA’s bylaws. They are responsible for delegating the Board of Directors.

In an HOA, the Board of Directors adopts rules and architectural guidelines. It also maintains the common areas. The unit owners possess no ownership interest in the common areas. Instead, the HOA owns them.  Homeowners may use the common areas unless they violate regulations imposed by the HOA. The HOA maintains areas that include recreational facilities, swimming pools or parking lots.

Unit owners are responsible for maintaining their lots and, similar to a condo association, their annual fees are based on determinations by the Board of Directors. Owners typically pay based on the common expense, divided by the total number of lots.

As a result of the smaller obligations in relation to repair, maintenance, and replacement, HOA fees tend to be lower than fees for condominiums of similar sizes. In the case of a condo association, unit owners pay for common areas. But in the case of HOA homeowners, these costs are not covered.

Do you want to learn more about the difference between a condo association and an HOA? Need to understand the costs and practices associated with each? Get in touch with our friendly team at Ardent Residential with your questions.

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