Can You Be Evicted From an HOA in Massachusetts
Author Bill Gassett owns Maximum Real Estate Exposure.
If you have always lived in a place without a homeowners association transitioning into one is often a challenge. You used to be king of your castle, and now you're under someone's constant supervision.
When buying a condo, a homeowner's association is commonplace.
Without a doubt living in an HOA is different. Sometimes things can get heated when you violate the rules within a homeowners association. Some people wonder if an HOA can kick them out of the neighborhood.
An HOA cannot evict you in Massachusetts in this kind of circumstance. Potential owners also need to know you can't refuse to join a homeowners association in most circumstances. Unless the HOA is voluntary, which few are, you're stuck being a member.
Let's look at some of the considerations to consider when living in an HOA.
Is It Possible For an HOA to Kick You Out of The Neighborhood?
You can only lose your home if you don't pay your association fees and the HOA forecloses on your property.
In Massachusetts, a homeowners association cannot evict you from your home in any other circumstance. They cannot legally kick you out even if you violate the HOA's rules. An HOA is not a government entity that has that kind of power
Instead, the HOA will typically take other measures to address rule violations. Depending on the severity of the violation, the HOA may issue warnings or fines. The HOA may take the issue to court if the violations are more serious, like disturbing the peace or damaging property.
In some cases, the HOA may also take measures to encourage a homeowner to leave the neighborhood. This could include raising association fees or making obtaining necessary permits or approvals from the HOA difficult.
In these cases, the homeowner is not technically being kicked out but may choose to move independently.
Before Joining a Homeowners Association in Massachusetts, Understand The Rules
Before committing to purchase, the rules and any restrictive covenants are incredibly important to understand.
If you don't know these guidelines when joining a homeowners association, there could be a serious disappointment. It is best to know upfront whether you can tolerate the guidelines set forth by the neighborhood.
Knowing these rules and regulations will also ensure you comply.
Some HOAs may have restrictions on the type of improvements that can be made or restrictions on the size of the home or the landscaping. Many potential buyers who don't understand these things can be in for a rude awakening.
It can lead you down a dark path of constant misery of bickering with the members who oversee the HOA. There are many questions to ask before buying into an HOA.
Are The Amenities Worth it to You?
When deciding whether to join a homeowners association, it is crucial to consider the amenities the HOA offers. There are benefits to homeowners associations that are often the driving force for people to buy.
These amenities range from a community pool to a playground, gym, or clubhouse.
Homeowners associations may also provide maintenance services such as lawn care or snow removal.
Do these amenities get you excited? If not, you should probably reconsider buying into a neighborhood in Massachusetts with an HOA.
The additional costs associated with joining the HOA may not be worth it.
For instance, the additional cost probably doesn't make sense if the community amenities include a pool and you do not plan to use it. Similarly, if the HOA provides snow removal services, but you're the type who enjoys exercise or being outdoors, it might not move the needle for you.
Ultimately, it is up to a homeowner to decide if the amenities are worth it to them. Buying may not be the best choice if the HOA's amenities are not of value.
The Bottomline Massachusetts HOAs
Two of the most essential things to remember are that you can't refuse to join an HOA and will unlikely be kicked out of one.
You will likely move if you can't stand the thought of going home. It makes sense to do thorough due diligence before committing to a purchase where there is an HOA.
Speak to the neighbors and find out if they enjoy living there. Ask if there are overbearing rules or unruly board members who have nothing better to do than make your life miserable. You'll be glad you did.
Did you enjoy this advice on whether a homeowners association can evict you in Massachusetts? See other real estate articles on NewsBreak for more timely tips and advice. Bill often writes about general real estate, mortgages, finance, moving, and home improvement.
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