Getting into the nitty-gritty of owners associations

Getting into the nitty-gritty of owners associationsImage Credit: Supplied

By definition, a homeowners association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties in its jurisdiction.

In the UAE, there are many gated communities and towers that have been developed of late, and the Jointly Owned Properties Law (JOP) mandates each freehold developer to establish HOAs that will be governed by a board.

The HOAs in these developments serve to supervise, manage, maintain, replace and control the common areas. They also fairly enforce the JOP Law No. 27 of 2007, and conduct various record-keeping, accounting, legal and administrative tasks associated with the management of the community. The JOP Law has been amended recently.

HOAs set the rules, and help maintain the quality of life of residents and the value of the property. They help oversee the maintenance of the common areas of the building such as landscaped areas, elevators, swimming pools, clubhouses, parking garages, fitness areas, sidewalks and exteriors. They are also responsible for promoting harmony and a sense of well-being among residents.

HOAs are required to hold an annual owners general assembly as well while setting up a general fund and a reserve fund for the association. Previously, real estate developers followed the policy of outsourcing the maintenance of a property's common areas. The new JOP Law states that the responsibility will be completely transferred to the owners association.

An HOA board is elected by each community's owners at a general assembly. In order to be eligible to be part of the HOA, it is mandatory that the person is a law-abiding homeowner of the community. An important point to remember is that all the members of the owners association serve on a voluntary basis; therefore, they get no pay or remuneration.

Homeowners are encouraged to get involved with their association to be aware of its rules and updates, and to contribute towards the proper management and maintenance of the property where they live in.

Handy Hints:

• JOP Law mandates freehold developers to create homeowners associations

• Homeowners associations are tasked to manage a property's common areas

• They also implement regulations to promote harmony among homeowners

Read more on the need to empower owners associations

Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties

The writer is a freelancer

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