Many of Delaware’s communities have homeowners associations. If you are involved in a residential real estate transaction, you may want to know if your community has an HOA, along with what it will mean for you. Many people simply pay their dues and never really understand the basic terminology associated with them, which outlines their structure and governance.

HOAs fall under the state’s non-profit corporation statutes here in Delaware. Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the state, and a deed for the common areas of the communities they govern must be recorded in the appropriate county records. The covenants, conditions and restrictions, often referred to as the CC&Rs, must also be recorded in those same records.

Each HOA has its own set of bylaws, which outline the administration and management of it. Additional regulations and rules may be added to the bylaws through resolutions. You may find that the HOA for the community in which you want to buy property is subject to numerous laws from the federal government, the state government and even local government depending on the situation. These organizations are more than just a group of homeowners checking to make sure that you do not paint your house purple or that your grass is not too long.

On the one hand, this provides them with legitimacy and certain rights under the law. On the other hand, it also provides you with rights when it comes to resolving disputes. Once you understand how moving into a community with an HOA will affect what you can and cannot do in your community, you can make a better informed decision regarding your residential real estate purchase. A Delaware real estate attorney will more than likely answer all of the questions and concerns you may have before you move forward with your purchase.

Source: hoa-usa, “State Laws“, Accessed on Oct. 7, 2017