Find out what you need to know about who really controls timeshare resorts: timeshare HOAs.
Most timeshare resorts are governed by timeshare HOAs, or Homeowners Associations. If you have a deeded or fixed week timeshare, you probably have an HOA and that HOA is making decisions that directly affect you all the time. Here’s what you need to know about timeshare HOAs.
What is a Timeshare HOA?
An HOA is an organization that governs properties such as condominiums, subdivisions, and other types of communities such as timeshares. You may be familiar with an HOA or condo association at your primary residence. HOAs for timeshares function much the same way.
What do Timeshare HOAs do?
Timeshare HOAs do a wide variety of things. We’ll go over the most common activities, although the specifics of your HOA may vary. First, they write, maintain, and enforce the rules of the community. These rules are typically called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) or bylaws. Obtain and read a copy of these rules at least once before you buy your timeshare. HOAs also set fees and manage finances. If you own a timeshare, you know all about maintenance fees. Your HOA determines what your annual fees are, levies special assessments, collects these fees, and pays for the running of the resort out of these fees. Additionally, your HOA handles any disputes between owners.
Do I have to join my HOA?
Yes. You will automatically become a member of your HOA at closing and you will be required to pay dues and fees on time.
Who runs my HOA?
Timeshare HOAs typically have a Board of Directors (BOD). BOD composition is unique to each HOA. However, usually, boards include a combination of appointed and elected members. Timeshare owners (that’s you!) choose elected members while appointed members are appointed by the resort developer. Before you select a timeshare, find out what percentage of board members are appointed by the developer. If it’s more than 50%, then the developer can control the HOAs decisions. A more balanced composition gives owners more power and is more likely to look out for your interests.
Can I Go to Board Meetings?
Usually yes, meetings are open to members. However, unlike HOA meetings for your primary residence, you probably don’t live close enough to go to your timeshare meetings unless they align with your week. This is a key difference between timeshare HOAs and other types of HOAs work. Most timeshare owners don’t participate in their HOA except to pay their annual maintenance fees. But you can and should review the minutes of those meetings. In fact, before you buy your timeshare, consider asking for and reading minutes from a past meeting to get a sense of how the HOA functions and if it’s a good fit for you.
What if I break the HOA rules?
You are responsible for knowing and following the bylaws or CC&Rs for your HOA. If you break the rules, the HOA will enforce them with an appropriate action. The HOA will levy penalties and ask you to make any necessary repairs or amends. However, the HOA also protects owners by making sure everyone follows the rules, which makes for a much better vacation experience for everyone (maybe the only positive thing about owning a timeshare)?
If the rule you break is not paying your maintenance fees, then the HOA will seek to collect those fees from you. And if you don’t pay within a reasonable time, they may pursue foreclosure. If you’re falling behind on fees to your HOA, you may want to consider exiting your timeshare. At Primo Management Group, we deal with HOAs all the time to help people exit timeshares. Contact us for a free consultation today to see what we can do for you.
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