Every HOA in California operates with a legal document called the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), which lays out rules for the community. If you’ve recently purchased real estate in downtown San Diego, your HOA may have hundreds of rules regarding what you can and cannot do, although many of these rules are common sense. The CC&Rs are designed to maintain property values, protect the common areas of the community, and promote a safe, healthy environment for everyone.
1. Rules for Common Areas
Common areas such as a clubhouse, pool, BBQ area, and green spaces typically have their own subset of rules that must be followed. For example, the pool may have open hours each day and other rules for use, such as the requirement of adult supervision. In general, be respectful and considerate when using common areas to avoid leaving a mess, making too much noise, or creating a safety hazard.
2. HOA Fee Rules
All owners in an HOA will be required to pay regular HOA dues, which are used to pay for the upkeep and installation of amenities and common areas, insurance, building maintenance, and more. Along with regular dues, there may sometimes be special assessments imposed to cover unexpected costs like roof replacement if the association doesn’t have enough money in the reserve fund.
3. Pet Restrictions
Thanks to a recent California law, HOAs cannot restrict owners from having a single pet, but HOAs can still restrict the type, number, and size of pets allowed on the property. Some associations limit pets to 20-40 pounds or place restrictions on certain exotic pets like birds and rodents.
4. Maintenance Rules
Every HOA has specific rules regarding maintaining the homes in the community. You’ll be required to pay for necessary repairs that are your responsibility, such as a broken appliance or a plumbing leak in a pipe that only serves your unit.
5. Restrictions on Renting or Leasing Your Property
It’s common for HOAs to place restrictions on rentals for several reasons. Owners who occupy the property are more likely to follow HOA rules and maintain the property. A high percentage of rentals in the association can also make it difficult for buyers to get a loan, and it can increase liability insurance costs for the HOA. If you plan to rent out your unit, it’s important to read the CC&Rs carefully. You may be required to live in the unit for a specific amount of time and/or get permission from the board first.
6. Restrictions on Use of Private Property
There are typically several restrictions on how homeowners can use their private property, including the unit itself or a balcony or patio. Common examples are clutter on a balcony, hanging laundry on a balcony, parking an RV on a driveway, and hedges that have grown too high.
If you’re interested in condos, penthouses, or lofts in downtown San Diego, be prepared to be part of an HOA after purchasing your home. A qualified real estate agent from 92101 Urban Living can help you better understand the HOA process while you search for the ideal property together. Call 619-649-0368 today to schedule an appointment.