Have some Homeowner Associations gotten out of Control?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 DRE# ER40011786



Have some Homeowner Associations gotten out of control?    Most communities only have one association, but what happens when there are two or three?   When there are three associations for one community, is it fair to collect over $400.00 for each status letter?     This is pretty difficult to explain to Sellers when you call and find out what these transfer fees will be.    This HOA also collects $450.00 for working capital that is never returned from the buyer.


On top of that --- some HOAs require 10 business days to produce the status letters.   If the title company orders them too early, the payments made for the first of the month are not recorded, and too much was collected.   If the title company waits to order until after the 8th of the month, and you have to do a mail-out, the status letter will be late.    Recently this same HOA had another $350.00 RUSH FEE.


This homeowner paid $1,619.80 to the HOAs just to transfer the property.     There are other HOAs in Denver that only charge $150.00 to transfer and no rush fees.    This is highway robbery, and will see what can be done to reduce these fees.     There should be regulations on the fees they can charge our homeowners!



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Sarah, John Rummage
Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 - Nashville, TN
Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area!

And a lot of times it is hard to impossible to get the information up front so that the buyer won't have sticker shock. Some first time buyers are working with a tight budget and we need to be able to do an accurate net sheet.  

Aug 03, 2015 06:12 AM #34
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

HOAs are definitely out of control.  I have seen some charge thousands of dollars in order for a new buyer to transfer ownership.  Crazy. 

Aug 03, 2015 06:25 AM #35
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

The neighborhood I live in has 3 different associations.  The normal one for the entire subdivision. Then we have the lakefront association.  If you live on the water, you have to belong.  If you want to fish, you can join.  And thirdly, we have the pool/tennis association, which you are not required to join.  However, the fees you mentioned are just plain silly!

Aug 03, 2015 06:28 AM #36
Christi Farrington
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

That's incredible.  As Ed Silva stated, CT has a cap on what can be charged for the transfer of HOA docs.  Amazingly, on two occassions, I received the docs for no fee at all! 

Aug 03, 2015 06:39 AM #37
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

Yes, many are out of control. A coupe years ago I listed an REO in an HOA. I requested an account balance and a copy of the CCR's. They refused. They told me, in a rather snotty tone, they only provide that to owners, not brokers.

After I listed it they sent a letter saying I was being fined $100 for not getting written permission to place my sign in the yard. I did get it waived after I pointed out that I had no way of knowing I needed approval since they refused to give me their CCr's, but only after threatening to turn it over to my attorney.

A year later I got another REO in the same neighborhood. I emailed a request to place a sign. Since the home was occupied I estimated about 6 weeks to listing. They said it was too soon, re-submit my request two weeks out. At two weeks from tenant move out I emailed again, five times with no reply so I called. I was told I needed to send my request to a different email address. I then got a reply that I would receive an answer by mail in 7-10 days. When the letter came the next week it only said they'd received my request and that it would take 30-45 days to get an answer. By the time I got permission the house was under contract.

All the document fees, transfer fees and the often ridiculous fines are lining the management companies pockets.

Aug 03, 2015 06:39 AM #38
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Joan Cox 

That's pretty egregious IMO. We have issues here but I've not run up against  problems in my area to the extent you are describing, or the outrageous fees others have described for their states, like Florida. The fees for preparing CC&Rs and other HOA docs gave gotten ridiculous - most of them are online and they don't have to do a thing. And it takes them weeks to get docs out, again for reasons that make no sense.


Aug 03, 2015 06:50 AM #39
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

How do you get 2 or 3 HOA?  I have never seen that one.  HOA can be a pain and view a sale as a chance to make some money.  

Aug 03, 2015 07:31 AM #40
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Elizabeth at #22 is correct that CA laws have changed and are limiting the amount of charges by HOAs and their management companies for copies of governing and financial documents.

Aug 03, 2015 08:00 AM #41
Kona Home Team (luva llc) Lance Owens (RS)
Kona Home Team (luva llc) - Kailua-Kona, HI
Getting transactions done, when nobody else can!

They  have a racket going alright, most homeowners have no idea until its too late. It should be brought up at  HOA meetings, let the owners know what they are charging, for something they already do? 

Don't get me going - LOL :) 

Aug 03, 2015 08:03 AM #42
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

HOA members have the power to change those rules, but they have to interested enough to get themselves informed. Therein lies the rub.

They do not want to be bothered by these little details until something bites them in the butt, and by that time the deal is done.

HOA's and their mgmt co's are always looking for revenue, and this is an easy way to get it.

Aug 03, 2015 09:16 AM #43
Theresa Akin

It's hard to get any information from the HOAs when a buyer and sometimes seller for that matter to get a copy of the by-laws which i thought happened when the property was purchased. I told a listing agent I needed the information for my buyer. She told me she was still waiting on the information for her seller. Ridiculous!!

Aug 03, 2015 09:52 AM #44
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

Wow- I am happy to report that we do not have these fees in STL!

Aug 03, 2015 12:56 PM #45
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Joan Cox  Some HOAs need to reconsider their management companies!  I've had buyers who were forced to pay exorbitant fees for extra docs required by lenders  to satisfy final conditions. The sad thing is that the management companies farm out distribution of the docs to a third party who does not care how much the parties are forced to spend or how long it takes. You are right.  On the flip side, there are self managed HOAs who have the docs posted on line and they quickly deliver the resale certificate for a nominal fee.

Aug 03, 2015 04:18 PM #46
Eleanor Thorne
Equity Resources - Cary, NC
Equity Resources 919-649-5058

I believe everyone is going to see more RUSH fees due to TRID.  It puts us on a pretty tight schedule, and coordinating all of the fees is not something all lenders will be familiar with - I'd mention it to your Buyers and Sellers.  It's unfortunate.

Aug 05, 2015 01:16 AM #47
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

Arguement can be made both ways - - depending on hte circumstances.

I suspect that some (or all) of the communities referred to by Mike Kozlow are probably rather elite communities and may have a substantion overhead for security, etc. I suspect the monthly fees are rather high as well. If this is the case the large fees are probably a tiny percentage of the sales price of teh property.I seldon sell 'higher end' properties and am more into the basic 'bread and butter' market. I recently had client living in a community HOA offered nothing of substance. The total ANNUAL dues are only $150. Yet she was gouged $275 + a $75.00 rush fee (since she forgot to order it as soon as we ratified her contract) for a 12 page set of documents. The whole package could have easily been condensed to 6-8 pages except for the fact that each individual required disclosure was printed seperately.


Aug 05, 2015 03:50 AM #48
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Realtors should inform their clients about such extraordinary HOA fees or other extraneous community terms and conditions. The resale value IMO could be a difficult challenge with these type of conditions unless the community is a luxury gated property. Regardless, I would probably avoid any listings for my clients.

Aug 05, 2015 02:21 PM #49
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

Wow! I have never heard of 2 or 3 HOA's. 

What makes me ill, is that there is a nearby 55+ landlease HOA that charges close to a $1,000 for maintainance fees and that does not include Suffolk County, NY property taxes. The fee goes up every year as well. Very sad for those on a fixed income. 

Aug 05, 2015 09:40 PM #50
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

IMO…HOA’s use the necessity to provide “status letters”, “demand letters”, docs, transfers, ad nauseam, as a source of revenue. The fees charged have little or nothing to do with the cost of preparing the information which is most likely stored electronically and can be produced in short order.  The information is necessary in order to complete a purchase of an HOA controlled property. It cannot be obtained from another source…thus the provider gets away with highway robbery.

Aug 06, 2015 02:12 PM #51
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

I think that the most that should be charged is $100 per person per association.  Anything above that is robbery and someone is getting rich on the transfer fees.

Aug 12, 2015 12:18 PM #52
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Joan-LI'm typically not a fan of much regulation, but this is an area where sometimes the fees charged do not reflect the effort or expense needed to produce the work product. 

Sep 15, 2015 12:45 PM #53
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