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HOA fee: Where does the money go?

Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 20:15:18-05

If you live where there's a homeowners association, and you bought or sold, check your statements.

I found something called a "disclosure" fee under miscellaneous charges

It's supposed to cover the cost of providing HOA and property information to the buyer.

That would include HOA CC&R's, reserves, assessments, budgets, finances, liens on the property, contact information and more.

If the HOA has a property management company,  it would be their responsibility to gather and provide the information.

And if that information is stored and updated on computers, you may think gathering it would be pretty easy.

It might involve accessing computer files, printing and sending.

Dennis Legere says the property management is already paid through assessments to keep records updated.

Legere is a homeowner's advocate and lobbyist.

He runs the organization, Arizona Homeowners Coalition.

Legere believes the disclosure fee is redundant and should cost around $50.

My disclosure fee was $300 and Arizona law allows a limit up to $400.

That works out to $20 an hour for 20 hours of work to provide HOA and property documents per sale.

Jean-Marie Bellington has a different view. She thinks the disclosure fee limit is fair.

Bellington is president of Tri-City Property Management Services Inc.

It's a member of the Arizona Association of Community Managers.

She thinks just clicking on files and printing is making the job too simplistic.

Instead, Bellington says she sets aside one and a half positions to take care of sale disclosures.

She said they need to be updated, accurate and gone through page by page.

There could be liens that haven't been recorded, violations, special assessments planned.

Bottom line, Bellington says buyers need the most accurate, updated information about an HOA and the property they're about to buy.

And she says community managers have liability to make sure it's done right.

Did you get charged HOA fees when buying or selling?

Check your statements and let me know if you see "transfer," "capital improvement" or other fees you don't understand.

Click hereto learn more about the HOA disclosure fee law.