How to Dissolve an HOA

You might have to get rid of your HOA if you want a pink house.

You might have to get rid of your HOA if you want a pink house.

You might be in for an uphill battle if you want your homeowner's association dissolved. Many HOAs provide benefits such as a community center or security, but these same HOAs might also have rules regarding what color you can paint your home, what kind of landscaping you can do and where you can park your vehicles. If membership in your HOA is voluntary, dissolution might not be necessary. Depending on the association's bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), you might be able to withdraw your membership. If your HOA membership is involuntary, dissolution might be your only recourse if you no longer want it governing what you can do with your property.

Read your home's deed and the CC&Rs for your HOA. Your deed should specify if your membership is involuntary. The documentation for your HOA provides the number of votes required to dissolve the association and says what must happen to commonly held property such as a community pool after the entity's dissolution.

Visit a website such as HOA-USA.com to research federal and state laws concerning HOAs. The Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act or Uniform Planned Community Act provides guidance for individuals who want to dissolve an HOA in states that adhere to the acts.

Visit your state's Secretary of State website to determine how to dissolve HOAs they are not governed by public agencies. Many HOAs are nonprofit corporations and as such can only be dissolved by following the state's rules for the dissolution of a nonprofit corporation. Look at the HOA's corporation's filings -- many are available at the SOS website -- to see if it filed the required paperwork. If not, call the SOS office and inquire what steps you can take to dissolve the HOA for not following the rules.

Talk with members of the HOA's community to determine if you have support in seeking to dissolve the association. Depending on CC&R requirements and state law, dissolution could require the agreement of most if not all members.

Hire an attorney to write a termination agreement. The agreement should specify what happens to any common areas and who will provide landscaping, pool maintenance, and other services after the dissolution.

Call an association meeting and ask for a vote on dissolving the HOA. If approved, have the agreeing members sign the termination agreement. Settle any debts, dispose of assets belonging to the HOA, and file the necessary documentation with the SOS to complete the dissolution.

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