The mission and vision of the Alabama Real Estate Commission is to "protect the public through the licensing & regulating of Real Estate licensees and insure public confidence in real estate transactions"
Many properties are subject to Community Covenants and Restrictions (CCRs). CCRs are recorded at the county seats and are private agreements establishing a compulsory legal obligation over property for the purchaser. They cover such things as approved use of property, repair, modification, dues, debt and much more. Often times, they conflict with state and local law. For instance, an association may attempt to regulate parking on a city owned street though they have no jurisdiction over non owned property. The only jurisdiction an association has is over common property and within the lot lines of property within the boundaries of the association. City and county streets do not afford jurisdiction. A lot generally stops just inside the front sidewalk, where present.
Just because you did not know there was an active association, or the existence of such documents that could result in a future assessment of dues and enforcement of covenants, does not relieve you from your obligation to appropriately advise a Buyer or for the purchaser to follow them. Beware: Although the MLS listing may reflect a no, indicated as “N” in the association field, one may be formed in the future if the nonprofit association was filed with the state. This is easily checked with the Secretary of State (link below). Some communities have active Homeowners Associations and, as previously mentioned, others may have had the appropriate documents filed creating the option to establish an Association subsequent to purchase or after completion of all homes in the community.
Realtors® are a licensed professional and are held to a higher standard. Don’t wait on your Board or MLS to provide training. Mitigate risk yourself; serve your clients. Insist that your Board and MLS provide adequate training, forms, and other tools to serve you as a member and the buying and selling public.
Draft Purchase Addendum…
For Realtors®: The HOA Minefield – Mitigating Risk…
Check HOA incorporations with the Secretary of State's office...
Check HOA incorporations filed under HB-241 with the Secretary of State's office...
The Homeowners Association Act...
Code of Alabama...
Note:There are inherent problems with the 2016 Homeowners Association Act, the biggest of which is no enforcement. If a developer chooses not to file or comply with any of the requirements therein, the aggrieved party must resort to filing a civil action with an attorney. This was recognized as a major problem from day one; however, special interest parties lobbied very hard against any enforced accountability and more...and won. It is up to consumers to protect themselves.
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 CONCERNED HOMEOWNERS ALLIANCE
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.