Life after the HOA. Is it even possible to live in a Community of homeowners and not be part of a HOA?

Living as part of the HOA might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The good news is that it doesn’t always have to be, and there are ways to opt-out of HOA.

How to Opt-Out of HOA

Being part of an HOA might only be for some, but the tricky part is understanding whether you can leave. HOAs have some benefits, but sometimes, the cost of being part of the association outweighs them.

Although some homeowners are delighted with the many benefits associations offer, some might find them unnecessary and expensive. Being part of an HOA can sometimes add pressure or stress for the homeowner.

If you’re part of an HOA but decide it doesn’t fit you, this article is designed to help you understand your options and what to do.

Before going straight to the HOA and demanding to depart from the homeowners association, let’s first understand the different types of HOA agreements and the proper way to opt-out of them.

Different Types of HOA Agreements

The fine print sometimes contains certain clauses about HOA memberships upon purchasing a property, especially in a residential subdivision. These clauses require or are voluntary, so it’s important to understand the difference.

Mandatory HOA

A mandatory HOA requires homeowners within a specific residence, subdivision, area, or location to be part of it whether they like it. Depending on the structure of the contract, there could be repercussions for not being part of the HOA.

While an HOA is designed to help homeowners, it can sometimes include benefits only accessible to homeowners association members. For homeowners who have yet to purchase a property, it’s essential to ask what benefits the HOA provides.

If your purchase contract includes a mandatory HOA, there is little to no chance of opting out. Depending on what’s written in the fine print, some homeowners must pay fees, join meetings, and participate in certain activities.

Voluntary HOA

A voluntary HOA is not required and is entirely up to the owner as to whether they want to join the association. This type of association allows homeowners to enter or leave by choice.

Before you give a firm NO to voluntary HOAs, it’s important to note that not being a member could come at a cost. Non-HOA members could be stripped of access to pools, fitness centers, etc.

While some residences still allow non-HOA members to enjoy their facilities, they might come at a small fee. When choosing not to become a member of a voluntary HOA, make sure to weigh the pros and cons, especially regarding the prices of the amenities you plan to use.

How to Leave an HOA

To leave an HOA, you’ll have to follow a few steps to ensure that you leave properly and without repercussions. Here are some steps you can follow.

Find out what type of HOA you are under

If you are under a mandatory HOA, check the fine print to find out whether there is an option to leave. If you are under a voluntary HOA, check the contract to see how you can exit the association.

Weigh the pros and cons

Opting out of an HOA can come with pros and cons. Make sure to weigh them to avoid regrets later on if you decide to push through with leaving the association.

Follow the contract

Suppose you live in a place with a mandatory homeowners association with no clause for leaving. In that case, the worst-case scenario is moving to another location. You can find the proper procedure to leave your HOA in your contract.

File for a petition

One reason to file for leaving an HOA or having it removed is if the homeowners association fails to enforce its rules and regulations. If you are under a mandatory HOA and want it obliterated, you can file a petition to remove it. This, however, is a legal process that can take time.