Your Guide to HOA Fees in Florida

House hunting in Florida can seem more complex than house hunting anywhere else because nearly every subdivision has a homeowners’ association (HOA). That means when house shopping, you need to also compare the HOA fees along with the potential mortgage payment and property taxes.

An Introduction to Florida HOA Fees

HOA fees don’t present a straightforward comparison though, because many communities refer to them differently. In Florida, you will find it tough to compare apples to apples since the subdivisions call their HOA fees by different names, says Susan P. Bakalar, Coral Springs HOA attorney. The most common terms include:

  • HOA fees,
  • HOA dues,
  • Amenity Fees,
  • Community Development District (CDD) fees,
  • Community Service Fees.

Some communities charge more than one fee type. You might ask about HOA fees and the realtor might quote a fee that is accurate. However, the subdivision might also charge other fees such as an amenity fee or CDD fee. Thus, your cost increases once you make your home choice, providing you with an unwelcome and expensive situation. It is best to ask how many fees or dues get charged and whether they occur monthly, quarterly, or annually. Also, request the amount of each.

Variations in Fee Amounts

Some communities grandfather in the fees, so if you purchased your home before a specific year, you would pay fewer fees than someone who purchased the house next to yours today.

Many communities with more than one home type, a common occurrence in mixed-use housing or planned unit developments, charge a range of fees. These may range between $100 per month to more than $500 per month depending on whether you own a condo, house, or villa.

Fees Determine Amenities Funding

Since your fees pay for public area maintenance, office personnel, security, amenities, etc., finding an HOA with cheap fees might not be a good thing. That probably means you do not get much in the way of community buildings or care. Those fees pay for services rendered to you and all of the other residents, so low fees mean fewer services or amenities.

The fees pay for items like the upkeep of the swimming pool or community center. They cover resurfacing the parking lot at the community center or basketball courts. They also may pay a salary to an office manager or secretary for the HOA who maintains the office and accounts or equipment to maintain the grounds, such as lawnmowers or a bulldozer.

Why You Might Need a Coral Springs Association Law Attorney

Of course, it can occur that the HOA does not use the fees appropriately. You might pay in for a year only to find the pool did not get resurfaced or the parking lot developed potholes that never got fixed. While many individuals probably think of needing an attorney for a resident breaking HOA covenants, you, the resident, can also consult with a South Florida HOA attorney if your HOA defaults on its duties.

Another reason you might need a Coral Springs HOA attorney is if you represent a Florida HOA and need to set fees. A Coral Springs association law attorney from Bakalar & Associates can help you determine the logical amount needed to upkeep the subdivision and how best to structure them. We can help you structure them in a sensible, legal fashion and devise the best management practices for them.

Contact Susan P. Bakalar, Coral Springs association law attorney, to help with any questions you have about developing and setting fees or about legal enforcement of the use of fees you paid. Let Bakalar & Associates help you obtain the best outcome possible and better understand the complexities of Florida homeownership.