A deep-rooted consumer protection problem has resulted from questionable Declarant control, self-serving business practices, and the mismanagement of community associations (HOAs), especially in North Alabama. Unfortunately, the problem has spread now to many to homeowner controlled communities as they have transitioned from Declarant to homeowner control. Weak nonprofit law, lack of experience and education, as well as lack of enforcement, have perpetuated these problems, which some feel border on civil, or possibly criminal RICO conduct. The real estate community has done little to educate its members. Additionally, the Real Estate Commission has no specific jurisdiction over association related complaints. Alabama is a dangerous place to purchase property governed by a community association without a well-trained agent who has received HOA training from a subject matter expert. Unfortunately, the local Boards of Realtors® and Multiple Listing Services (MLS) do not offer such training and have done nothing significant to help their members mitigate risk or protect the public during such transactions.

Suggested requested information prior to making a purchase commitment:

  • Copies of Covenants & Bylaws for all portions of the community, including supplementary filings
  • Insist that your offer to purchase is contingent on receipt, review and acceptance of ALL requested information
  • Require incorporation details, Board, management company, Developer and HOA contact information
  • Although a property may be represented as having no HOA currently, determine if one could be established AFTER closing or community completion 
  • Current budget, checking, savings, and reserve fund details, including expenses and unfinished project estimates
  • Determine if HOA funds are being deposited in the HOA's name insulating them fromDeclarant or management company legal claims or unauthorized/inappropriate withdrawals
  • HOA debt level
  • HOA dues and all other expenses to be paid by the homeowner; history of special Assessments and future expected assessments 
  • Require a summary of insurance coverage, fidelity bonds, and acknowledgement of annual tax filings
  • Require the number and percentage of delinquencies and homeowner liens 
  • Determine if there is any pending litigation by, or against , the HOA and/or unpaidjudgments or disputes
  • Determine if amenities are complete and who will fund any current debt or future amenities
  • Determine if control of the HOA been turned over to homeowners and if so, when
  • Require the date of the expiration of original and/or any extended Declarant authority
  • Determine if the declarant/developer reserves the right to retain control of any
  • amenities and if so, identify
  • Determine if any property or community adjacent to property is or could bezoned for commercial or multifamily use
  • Determine if the HOA maintains any non-owned property; if so, what and why
  • Determine if amenities have been deeded to the HOA (if applicable)
  • Determine if the community is subject to additional phasing (community
  • expansion) and if so, if the current architectural theme will be continued
  • Determine if subject property is in compliance with Architectural Control rules andcovenants

You can make your offer contingent upon receiving and

approving material information before you are committed to purchase  

Don't be bullied into skipping this.

If the agent or seller says "NO",

Just say, "NEXT".

The Alabama Concerned Homeowners Alliance  - All Rights Reserved
 Not Affiliated with the State of Alabama

No content within this site is intended to serve as legal advice.
No endorsement or warranty is made or implied about the quality of service any professionals perform.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Alabama is a dangerous place to purchase real estate. Be prepared.  

Ask your REALTOR®/Buyer Agent how your interests are being protected.
Only use an adequately HOA trained professional who will represent & protect you.