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Tampa Real Estate Lawyer > Blog > HOA Condo Association > Do I Have To Join My New Home’s HOA?

Do I Have To Join My New Home’s HOA?


A prospective Florida home buyer is a person who has fairly firm preferences on what they are looking for in a place to live. Many, especially those coming from out of state, are firmly set against joining a homeowners’ association (HOA). However, data from Today’s Homeowner shows that around 45 percent of all Floridian homes are part of an HOA, which means that the selection will be much smaller for someone bent on such a course of action. Still, it may be worth investigating whether you truly have to join an HOA if you purchase a home that comes with one.

Positives and Negatives Of HOAs

It must be said that while countless HOA horror stories make the rounds at any given moment, there are just as many HOAs that act fairly and protect the rights of their members. HOAs can also give access to amenities and community that an owner might otherwise not be able to afford, such as a pool or playground. In addition, HOAs have greater power to deal with city or state measures that might infringe upon your rights as a homeowner.

That said, there are valid reasons to want to avoid living in an HOA. Many boards can seem overbearing, regulating everything from fence height to yard decoration to light displays at Christmas. People who are more interested in an individual experience tend to avoid HOAs, even though being in one can help to protect your rights. However, if you are firmly set on avoiding an HOA, it is crucial that you research which kind of HOA your prospective home falls under.

Two Types

Florida recognizes both voluntary and mandatory HOAs. Mandatory HOAs, as one might expect, require all homeowners in the subdivision to be members, without exception. The reason this is the case has to do with the method by which the HOA was formed; Florida law requires that a mandatory HOA apply to the entire subdivision or its conditions, covenants & restrictions (CC&Rs) will not have the force of law. People buying homes that fall under a mandatory HOA will be asked to sign documents joining the association at their closing.

A voluntary HOA, however, is a different matter. Voluntary HOAs are much less common than mandatory ones, but they do exist – they just tend to have less overall power to enforce rules than those with mandatory membership. They are not strictly HOAs under Florida law, and are not governed by Chapter 720 like most; instead the relevant rules for these entities are in Chapter 617, which deals with nonprofit corporations. That said, if you do choose to opt out, you are ineligible to use any of the amenities the HOA covers, and cannot count on any kind of protection from an HOA board.

Contact A Tampa Real Estate Attorney

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to join an HOA is up to you – but you should be aware of exactly what your options and your rights will be if you do or do not. A Tampa real estate attorney can help. Attorney Alicia Seward and the Seward Law Office are ready and willing to try and answer your questions about the situation. Call our office today at (813) 831-9999 to schedule a consultation.



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