HOAs vs Condominium Associations

HOAs and Condominium associations are terms that are often used in the same context. While they serve homeowners and fulfil similar roles, they are entirely different entities and operate for different purposes. The difference ultimately comes down to what type of property you own – a condo, or a flat, or an entire house. 

Here you can learn about the core differences between condominium associations and HOAs

Condominium Associations

A condominium association, often referred to as a condo association is an association of owners or renters in an apartment block or building divided up into separate apartments. Members of the association collectively own the shared, or common areas, and are therefore required to manage the maintenance of them internally. Members of condominium associations – usually those living in the apartment block – are encouraged to help run the association. However, with larger blocks, they often opt to elect a board of directors who volunteer to take care of the running of the community – with all of the power and duties that it entails. 

General Common Elements, as one might expect, entail everything that is shared across all condos equally. This includes the hallways, roofs, elevators, a pool, lift, or swimming pool. Limited Common Elements, on the other hand, are parts of an apartment that are either private or are shared across a few condos. Semi-private balconies, a patio serving a few units or those condos that have access to a shared roof terrace. The elected board must decide how much money needs to be paid by the condo members to take care of communal areas, and indeed, which aspects should just be paid by a few. Unit owners pay their shares of what is due based on their percentage of the land owned – the larger the condo, the higher the proportion paid. 

Homeowners Associations

HOA members are most often owners of planned development homes. Property developers purchase huge tracts of land, divide it up into “lots” and build the roads and infrastructure necessary for a thriving community. These lots are smaller subdivisions of land where a single home can be built. Homes are usually built by the property developers themselves or by the owners of the lots into their dream home. 

In comparison to a Condo Association, the purpose of an HOA is to ensure that common areas and community facilities are being well taken care of. Indeed, this is due to these “common areas” being owned by the property developer or the HOA. The association, therefore, has a duty to maintain these common areas on behalf of the homeowners that live in the development area. Homeowners still must pay fees, which are usually tied to their plot of land or house. Avoiding fees will result in penalties including the withdrawal of voting rights. 

Regardless of whether you are organizing an election for an HOA or Condo Association, you can save time and money by voting online with POLYAS.

Elect your Board of Directors Online

In essence, the main difference between most HOAs and condo associations is the type of property they represent. Condominiums represent condos – apartments, while HOAs represent houses. Regardless of the association, they are both democratic institutions and therefore need to conduct elections.