March 1, 2011

The Link Between Homeowners Associations and Property Values

The Everett Herald included a well-written article about homeowners associations on Sunday. Columnist Steve Tytler provided a concise overview of the nature and purpose of such associations while tackling the question of whether a dormant association should be revived. He pointed out that covenants running with land are primarily intended to maintain attractive neighborhoods and enhance home values. He went on to note that homeowners associations, which typically have the power to collect dues from owners, fine misbehaving owners, and place liens on owners' homes, are in most cases the only realistic way to maintain common areas and address covenant violations.

Mr. Tytler concluded his article by contending that homeowners associations may not be necessary in some circumstances. In my experience, those situations are exceedingly rare. Most groups of owners seem to need the structure of an association to consistently achieve common goals. Without that structure, common areas tend to be neglected, covenants tend to be ignored, and property values tend to decline.