Why HOA Fees Are So High and What To Do About It
Buying a home is always fun but expensive endeavor. In many places, a new and beautiful home comes part and parcel with a Homeowner's Association (HOA) membership, fees, and rules. Unfortunately, in the last several years, HOA fees have become very high. If you're wondering why HOA fees are so high and what you can do about it, you're not alone.
There are ways to avoid paying HOA fees, but those ways can be more trouble than they're worth. Let's take a look at how you can deal with high HOA fees in your neighborhood with a little help from .
What Are HOA Fees
An HOA is designed to help members of a community save costs and increase property value by working together in a single association. All homeowners in an HOA will pay a lump sum to the association (monthly or yearly) that is pooled to cover utilities, repairs, amenities, additions, and other maintenance costs in the neighborhood. Many condos and townhomes are part of HOAs and include expenses for maintaining common areas such as community pools, fitness centers, etc.
In return for this group payment structure, owners of homes in HOAs have to abide by certain rules to maintain unity within the neighborhood. If homeowners fail to pay HOA fees or run into emergencies that need expensive repairs, other HOA members will have to step in to cover costs for those homeowners to help them stay afloat.
There are several categories of HOA fees you may have to pay. The most common HOA fees you'll face as an HOA member include:
- City services such as trash removal, water, and sewer expenses.
- Insurance for common areas and services.
- Lawn care for common areas or sometimes your own yard.
- Pest control.
- Maintenance and repairs for common areas and sometimes for other members' homes.
- Amenities and services such as pools, security, etc.
- Reserve funds to be saved for any maintenance emergencies.
- Assessment fees for renovations.
- Fines if you fail to follow all HOA rules appropriately when maintaining your home.
Typical Costs for HOA Fees
HOA fees can range significantly. You might see fees as low as $10 a month or as high as $4,000 a month. The average HOA fee for a single-family homeowner is around $250 a month. In addition, HOA fees can go up and down even while you're living in an HOA area. At certain times, you might have to pay extra for special repairs, get stuck with fines, or have to pay for maintenance of an uninhabited home.
How Can You Avoid or Appeal HOA Fees
If you're struggling to pay the HOA fees required of you, you may be wondering if there's a way to avoid or appeal HOA fees. In most cases, you really can't get out of HOA fees because you signed an HOA contract and could be punished if you fail to pay your fees. One way of avoiding HOA fees is filing for bankruptcy, but if you don't want to do that, there are a couple of options for avoiding and appealing HOA fees.
- Maintain your property according to HOA rules to avoid any extra fees.
- Join the HOA board and help HOA members make good choices about repairs and maintenance.
- Make sure that your HOA hires contractors with lower costs and only uses contractors when necessary (e.g. you could reduce the amount of visits the landscaping company makes each month).
- Check over insurance contracts and get quotes from other companies to be sure your HOA is paying the least possible for insurance.
- Ask your HOA to reduce reserve funds for a few months if the HOA has a lot of reserves built up.
The best thing you can do is get in touch with your HOA board or join the board yourself to be sure that you're only paying what's necessary.
What is a Sample Hardship Letter for HOA Fees
If you're in financial hardship and can't pay your HOA fees for a time, you can write a letter and send it to the board seeking relief. Here is a sample of what you could say:
Lender's fax number or e-mail
RE: Hardship Letter for Account Number:___________________
Dear [Name of whoever is in charge of hardship requests],
I have been working for [company] for [##] years, but due to the recent economic downturns, I have been laid off [or my hours have been reduced, etc.].
In the current climate, I have been struggling to find a new job that offers me the same salary and benefits. I have been struggling for several months to take care of my family and pay all my bills on time.
Recently, I was also blindsided by a sudden [death/accident, expensive home repair need, etc.].
Now, I am [unemployed, working part-time, etc.] and cannot afford the monthly fees of [$$$$]. I have attempted to borrow funds from family and friends but have been unsuccessful. Consequently, I can no longer afford a monthly fee of over [$$$$].
I have no choice but to request a modification until such a time as I can find a [new/better-paying] job. Please help me avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure by granting me this temporary reduction. I feel confident that I can maintain payment of [$$$$] or less until I can find a new position.
If you have more questions and need further information, please reach out to me at [phone number, email].
How Can DoNotPay Help You Reduce or Avoid HOA Fees
If you can't get in touch with your HOA board or need help creating a meaningful message and letter, you can always get more help from DoNotPay. Our service can help you appeal and avoid fees from your HOA in a few easy steps:
- Search "appeal fees" on DoNotPay, choose the Fight and Waive Fees product, and select the type of fee you want to appeal.
- Select the merchant you want to appeal fees for and enter the details of your transaction, including an associated account if you have one.
- Submit your case! DoNotPay will generate the best argument for your case and make sure your fee waiver request gets sent to the merchant for processing.
It's as easy as that! After DoNotPay sends your letter, you should hear back from the HOA board directly with the next steps you need to take to avoid high HOA fees.
DoNotPay Works Across All Companies With the Click of a Button
DoNotPay allows you to appeal fees from any company or service. Some of those include:
|eBay fees||Coinbase fees|
|Robinhood fees||Paypal seller fees|
|Spirit Airlines baggage fees||American Airlines baggage fees|
|Chase Bank checking account fees||Etsy fees|
|Homeowners Association (HOA) fees||Shopify fees|
What Else Can DoNotPay Help With
There are many other services you can find support for at DoNotPay! We can help you:
If DoNotPay can help you appeal and avoid HOA fees or handle other legal and financial issues, don't hesitate to today!