Are you looking for how to opt out of HOA? We understand because we know what it means to have a bad HOA. They can make things difficult to the extent that you may begin to feel bad about buying your dream house in such a community. Well, in this article, you will find the 7 easiest ways on how to leave HOA.
The easiest way to opt-out of HOA is by selling your house. You can sell your house and move to another community not managed by HOA. You can also leave any HOA you joined voluntarily and if you had already purchased your house before the HOA was formed, you can easily opt-out.
However, there are other ways to opt-out of HOA which will be explained further in this article, but the two ways explained above are the easiest and quickest ways to leave any HOA.
7 Easiest Ways to Opt Out of HOA
Ways to leave an HOA are:
1. By Selling Your House
As reiterated earlier, having a bad HOA can turn a perfect dream home into a nightmare. They can frustrate you, make you feel uncomfortable, and make you pay huge fees that you don’t want to. If you get tired of it and cannot take anymore. You can sell the house, use the money and buy a house in another location with no HOA.
Selling your house is the easiest way to leave HOA, but not the best way because, this is a house you bought with your money. A dream house for that matter. Who knows, it may not have been up to a year you purchased the house, and the HOA is already into a nightmare for you.
Since leaving the Association is never easy, you can quietly sell your house and move. You can use the money to buy another container house that lasts longer in another location that has no HOA.
However, if you decide to make use of this method. Ensure you think it through. Do not be quick to sell your house. If possible, you can even meet a lawyer that represents homeowners not HOA for legal advice or meet some people with knowledge of what to do for advice.
Also, before using this method, ensure you have exhausted all other ways of leaving HOA explained in this article. This should be the last method to use if you are indeed fed up with the HOA problems and fees.
2. If Your HOA Has a De-Annexation Clause
If you wish to leave your HOA, you may want to make use of the De-Annexation Clause of the Association. However, the first thing you need to do is to first verify if the HOA has a De-Annexation Clause. Where it becomes a problem is when the HOA in question does not De-Annexation Clause.
To check if your HOA has a De-Annexation Clause, you can consult the HOA governing documents or the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, (CC&R) that was given to you when you officially joined the HOA or after you completed your house purchase.
If it is clearly stated in the CC&R that the HOA has the De-Annexation Clause, then you can proceed with leaving. The De-Annexation Clause should explain how a homeowner can leave HOA.
However, you must note that it might not be as easy as you think. First of all, leaving any HOA that you did not voluntarily join is as difficult as anything you find difficult. This is because you also need other homeowners members of the Association to vote for your leaving which usually isn’t as you think.
These homeowners may not want to vote for you if your leaving will affect them. Who would want you to go if your leaving will make the Association increase the fee which they’ve been complaining were high before. If your leaving will also bring down the value of the property of others, they would not vote in your favor.
If your house is situated where it is not possible to get into your house without passing through the private roads managed by the HOA, other homeowners would not want to vote for you because you will still have access to these roads without paying for its maintenance.
Be that as it may, you can solicit with them earnestly. You can give them reasonable reasons why they should vote in your favor and if you were able to convince them with your reasons, some will vote for you. But the likelihood of them voting for you depend on the reasons why you are living and how you’re able to table the reasons to them.
3. If You Joined the HOA Voluntarily
Voluntary is acting at one’s free will. If the HOA in question is the one you joined voluntarily, you can easily leave. But it’s hard to see HOA people joined voluntarily misbehaving. This is because every member in a voluntary HOA joined at their own free will. No one mandates the homeowner to join.
Unlike when the HOA is mandated, you must join whenever you like it or not. As long as your house is in the community, you must join.
4. If Your HOA Fails to Enforce its Own Rules and Regulations
If the HOA you are part of is no longer enforcing its own rules such as the HOA backyard rules as stipulated in the CC&R yet you keep on paying dues and many more. You can use it against them to leave the Association. Who wants to be in an Associate that no longer enforces its own rules.
If you are certain that the HOA has not elected any board members for a long time, neither have they hold any meetings or call for any meetings, you stand a chance of using it to leave the HOA.
Also, if the HOA no longer fulfills their duties, yet you keep paying a huge amount as fees to the HOA, you can make use of this as your argument to leave the Association. You can also find ways to get out of paying such HOA huge fees.
In this case, you will be needing the services of a lawyer and judge to decide your case. If the court finds the HOA not enforcing their rules as stipulated in the CC&R, and the community has been living well without the rules enforced, they may declare the HOA dissolved. But there must be clear evidence or proof that the HOA has been idle for long yet you keep paying your dues.
5. If There Was no HOA When You Purchased Your House
If you had already purchased your house before the HOA was formed, you have a high chance of opting out or refusing to join. However, it is important to note that this might not be as easy as you think because, if your house is situated in the center of the community that is managed by the HOA, a refusal to join the HOA is likely not to work because your house is in the center, which means you will be making use of HOA managed roads, etc to access your house.
While we are on this, we should remind you to check the papers you signed when you purchased your house. Some people don’t read everything in the paper. If you had signed a paper that indicates that an HOA may be formed in the future, you’ve already given your signatory to being a member of the HOA even before it was formed. So, check the documents you signed and ensure there is no place it is indicated that an HOA may be formed in the nearest future.
Even if you were not informed about the likelihood of the community having an HOA in the nearest future or you were not informed that the area where your house is situated has an HOA, this might not likely work. The judge may not rule in your favor even though it’s not entirely your fault. You are expected to ask before buying the house and your realtor should have told you without you asking.
6. If Your HOA is Treating your Property Differently than Others
If you noticed that others are benefiting more than you from the HOA yet pays the same fees as you, you can use this to opt out of the HOA. This can happen when your house is in the outskirt of the community or if the community is a gated one and your house is outside the gate, you will likely be benefiting less than others as you always access your house through the government roads instead of the private roads managed by the HOA.
If your house is in the center of the community and the HOA is not performing its fiduciary duties, you can use it as a backbone to leave the HOA. Remember every HOA is established with a duty to act in the best interest of the community as a whole irrespective of your race, ethnicity, gender, family, religion, sexual orientation (gay or straight). You are supposed to be treated fairly as others.
When you are not treated fairly, you can use it to go out of the HOA as they treat you less than they treat others. You can seek legal advice from a lawyer that represents homeowners not HOA and you may need the judge the determine the matter for you. You need to have enough evidence before embarking on this journey.
7. If there is a Technical or Legal Error in the HOA Paperwork
You can opt out of HOA if the HOA has a technical or legal error that messed up its paperwork (CC&R). But before you do this, you have to ensure that the error is serious and not a minor error that can easily be corrected.
Look out for your HOA, if they have failed to re-register with the state after some years they were supposed to stay before re-registering. You can use this against them to leave the HOA. You can lawyer up and have a judge decide on the case.
Before you do this, ensure that there is indeed a serious problem with the paperwork. Ensure that they have not indeed re-registered for months or years. Ensure you meet a lawyer for legal advise and have the lawyer look at the papers and tell you what to do.
Difference Between Voluntary HOA and Mandatory HOA
- The major difference between voluntary HOA and Mandatory HOA is the method of joining the Association. With mandatory HOA, you joined immediately after you purchased your house but with voluntary HOA, you joined at your free will. Mandatory HOA offers more extensive amenities and services than voluntary HOAs.
- While you voluntarily joined the HOA of your own free will, you are forced to join the mandatory HOA against your own will. As long as your house is in the mandatory HOA community, you must join them.
- With mandatory HOA, you joined automatically, once you purchase your house. You are expected to pay fees which if don’t, will affect you. You are also not expected to leave the HOA except you sell the house.
- Voluntary HOA is usually made up of a group of homeowners who come together to form an HOA for the benefit of the community. Because membership is optional, meaning that you can refuse to join the HOA if you don’t want to. Voluntary HOAs offer fewer amenities and services than mandatory HOA. They cannot issue liens when your refuse to pay your fees.
As explained in this article, it’s not about asking how to opt out of HOA, it’s about how far are you willing to go and how effective are these methods. Leaving the HOA is not as easy as you may think. It is a very difficult thing except when you joined the HOA voluntarily or you decide to sell your house. Before you make any final decision, it is important to get legal advice from lawyers representing homeowners. They are in the best position to see your reason and tell you how effective it can be.