Gated Communities are becoming more popular on Long Island for many reasons, but it does come with a price. Just like any organization there must be an entity who manages the day to day responsibilities of these types of communities.
What is a gated community? This is typically a private community that restricts access to invited guests and its residents only. A security guard and/or an automated gate will stop cars before allowing them to enter the community. The streets and common property are usually owned by the community and they are solely responsible for maintaining everything. Besides security, many communities offer additional amenities such as pools, clubhouses, gyms, restaurants, and golf courses.
It is the Homeowners Association's (HOA) responsibility to manage the community. A typical HOA Board consists of about seven members elected by the residents each year. The actual number of board members is mandated in the by-laws and offering plans of the communities. Each of these board members must own a property in the HOA and they each have equal voting power regardless of the number of properties each may own. Each member has one vote on major decisions. Once they sell their properties they immediately must resign their board positions.
One of the HOA responsibilities is to collect the dues from residents on a regular basis to maintain all the amenities they have to offer. Because the HOA Board members are also residents they must also pay the same dues as everyone else. Typically, the HOA will hire a property management company to take care of collecting the fees for the HOA.
The HOA is also responsible for hiring all vendors to help them maintain the property and other amenities. Vendors include property management company, security guards, lifeguards, landscapers, restaurant employees, gym employees, golf employees and so on. The more amenities a community offers, the more employees it will need to hire.
Managing an HOA is a full-time job. Many HOAs will allow the property management company to do the managing of the day to day affairs. The HOA usually approves all third party companies are hired. Depending on the HOA Board, they could relinquish this responsibility to the property manager. Some HOAs might prefer to pay the property management company one flat monthly fee to take care of everything for them. Other HOAs might prefer to pay each vendor directly in order to have more control of the costs. It all depends on who is on the HOA Board.
Occasionally vendors may increase the prices they charge the HOA for their services. Each time this happens, the HOA must decide to accept the increases, negotiate with vendor, or a hire a new vendor. To avoid surprises, most HOAs will enter into a contract for a period of time that protects both parties. If the HOAs always agree to pay the higher prices, this will have an adverse effect on the monthly dues paid by every resident.
A Homeowner Association (HOA) is not the same thing as a co-op community. Each resident owns the property and the HOA cannot violate any Federal or New York State Real Estate laws. Unlike a co-op board, the HOA Boards and Condo Boards cannot stop homeowners from selling their properties to whomever they want. The HOA board cannot interview potential buyers to approve or disapprove of them. They also have no authority to approve a sale unless the HOA has placed a lien on the property for unpaid dues. Some HOAs and Condo boards might have a right of first refusal which means that they want the right to make a better offer than the currently accepted offer.
The HOA has the right to be paid for any unpaid dues. The HOA has the legal right to place liens on properties that owe substantial money to the HOA and any expenses incurred to the HOA to maintain the property. Before conveyance of property can take place, the HOA has the right to demand that part of the proceeds of the sale be used to take care of the past due amounts. A property lien will usually prevent the sale from taking place until that lien is satisfied.
If you are interested in making a move to a gated community or would like to sell a home you own visit our website at http://www.liprealty.com. For a list of some gated communities in Melville, go to http://www.gatedcommunitiesinmelville.com or read some more of our blogs. Another good site to visit is http://www.villageswestathuntington.com.