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 Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) of Ferndale

  • What is a ‘Homeowners’ Association – HOA

    A homeowners’ association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision that makes and enforces rules for the properties in its jurisdiction.

    When you buy a property governed by a homeowners’ association, you automatically become a member of the association. You don’t have the choice of not joining. The purchase of your home becomes a contract with the HOA. You agree that you’ll obey all the HOA rules and pay regular dues and any special assessments.

    HOA rules are called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs usually apply to both you, the homeowner, and to your home. The CC&Rs might cover what color you can paint your home, what you can plant in your yard, how many cars you can own and park, whether you can own a pet, and whether you can rent the property to someone else. There are usually noise restrictions, as well.

  • Why does my HOA charge dues?

    Homeowners in a covenant-controlled development usually pay association fees or dues, either monthly or yearly, as part of their membership. Dues to pay for upkeep of common areas like parks and the maintenance of storm water systems and wetland areas. Other expenses that HOA dues will cover include things like city utility services to the community and insurance premiums. How high the fees are dependent on factors such as the amenities offered by the community and whether the HOA is adequately planning for the future; the typical range is from a couple hundred dollars a year up to over $1,000 a month.

  • What happens if I don’t pay my HOA Fees?

    The governing documents likely give your HOA the power to place a lien on your home or take other legal action if you fail to pay HOA dues.

  • How do we restart an HOA if it has been inactive?

    1. Read and become familiar with the HOA’s CC&Rs
      • These should have been provided with the purchase of your home but you can also find them on our City website. Just click on your HOA below.
    2. Get buy-in from the other owners
      • Explain how membership dues will be used to provide specific benefits to the community, such as landscaping to beautify the neighborhood and increase property values. You should also discuss how the HOA can pool community resources to provide benefits that families could not afford on their own, such as a new playground.
    3.  Determine:
      • How many board members the association requires and how to elect them
      • How meetings should be conducted
      • How to notice meetings
      • What common facilities/amenities require maintenance by the HOA
    4. Call a meeting
      • Knock on doors, pass out flyers, or post on social media. Get the word out. The City encourages HOAs to meet at least quarterly.
    5. Consider outsourcing
      • Management companies may be an option for providing services like collecting dues, managing contractors like landscapers, and providing legal advice.
    6. Stay Connected
      • Social media is a great way to inform HOA members about what is happening, how dues are being spent and when to expect the next meeting.
  • What happens if my HOA does not meet its maintenance obligations?

    Ferndale Municipal Code 18.69.250 – Owner’s association – states that “If a homeowner’s association becomes inactive, the City shall be authorized to assess the costs of performing maintenance on the individual property owners based on the pro-rata share of the maintenance costs”.

  • More information

    The State provides consistent laws regarding the formation and legal administration of homeowner’s associations. You can find more information here.