Real estate developers establish homeowners associations as corporations for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision. HOAs grant the developer privileged voting rights in governing the association. Usually, the developer transfers ownership of the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots. Generally home buyers within the purview of a homeowners association must become members, and must obey the restrictions set forth by the association. Most homeowner associations are incorporated, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations. State oversight of homeowner associations is minimal, and it varies from state to state.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Should You Hire a Manager?

Risk Management in Real Estate Property Management (The Balance, Jun. 30, 2019)

HOA Management: Should Your Community Self-Manage or Hire a Pro? (The Community Association Management Blog, Mar. 22, 2019)

A Common Misunderstanding: HOA vs. Property Management Company (Hillcrest Property Management, Mar. 16, 2019)

Do You Need a Property Manager? 9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring One (The Balance, Oct. 28, 2018)

How to Hire a Property Manager: Tips to Find the Right Pro (realtor.com®, Jul. 11, 2018)

HOA Basics & Governing

What is a Homeowners Association? HOAs - Explained (realtor.com®, Jun. 16, 2019)

9 Things to Know About Homeowners Associations (Investopedia, May 16, 2019)

Access to Documents: Understanding Residents’ Access to Information (The Cooperator, Apr. 2019)

HOA Homefront: Why Governing Documents Matter (The Orange County Register, Mar. 8, 2019)

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Home in an HOA (Bankrate, Feb. 04, 2019)

What You Should Know About a Homeowners Association Before You Buy Into One (Consumer Reports, Jan. 09, 2019)

Ask the HOA Expert: Restricted Activities (Realty Times, May 22, 2018)

HOA Meeting Basics (Realty Times, Aug. 22, 2017)

Collecting Assessments

Before Legal Action: How to Collect Past Due Assessments (The Community Association Management Blog, Apr. 12, 2019)

HOA Fees: What Happens When Homeowners Fail to Pay as Required? (Homeowners Protection Bureau, Apr. 10, 2019)

What is a Special Assessment? Condo and Co-op Buyers Beware (realtor.com®, Nov. 27, 2018)

12 Facts About HOA Liens & Foreclosures You Should Know (Homeowners Protection Bureau, Jun. 25, 2018)

When HOA Associations Can Impose Special Assessments (Nolo, 2018)

Delinquent HOA Fees: How to Collect (HouseLogic)


Ways to Thank a Volunteer in Your Homeowners Association (HOA Manager, Jun. 6, 2019)

7 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved in Your HOA (moving.com, Nov. 08, 2018)

What Happens When Nobody Wants to Serve on an HOA Board (The Ledger, Mar. 7, 2018)

Attracting—and Keeping—HOA Volunteers (Kuester Companies, Apr. 12, 2017)

Owners who help out around their complex can pose liability risks for an HOA (Los Angeles Times, Mar. 11, 2017)

Legal Issues

What Amount Reserves Does the Law Require? (HOA Homefront, Jun. 4, 2019) E

When Condo Boards and Residents Clash, Legal Bills Mount (The New York Times, Mar. 29, 2019)

The Biggest Legal Mistakes Boards Make… and How to Avoid It! (The Cooperator, Feb. 27, 2019)

8 Common HOA Violations That Can Land You in Hot Water (Bankrate, Oct. 10, 2018)

HOA Ruining Your Life? 8 Things It Can’t Do—and How You Can Fight Back (realtor.com®, May 2, 2018)

Discharge of Condominium and Homeowners' Assessments in Bankruptcy (Florida Bar Journal, Feb. 2018) E

Find Your State HOA Laws (Homeowners Protection Bureau)


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Homeowners Association Manual (eBook)

The Condo Owner’s Answer Book (eBook, Kindle)

Homeowners Association and You (eBook)

Working with Your Homeowners Association (eBook)

Community Associations: A Guide to Successful Management (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Survey: Owners Say HOAs Protect Home Values (REALTOR® Magazine, June 5, 2018)

The Community Association Fact Book for 2017: Comprehensive Association Data and Information (Foundation for Community Association Research, 2017)

Condo & Homeowner Association Board Member Handbook and guide for association leaders (Buffalo Grove, IL: Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, 2011) HD 1377 K84

Community Associations: A Guide to Successful Management (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2008) HD 1377 B23

Working with Your Homeowners Association: A Guide to Effective Community Living (Naperville, IL: Sphinx Publications, 2003) HD 1377 C67

Community Associations: The Emergence and acceptance of a Quite Innovation in Housing (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000) HD 1377 S73

Community and Homeowner Association Practice: Community Association Law (Philadelphia, PA: American Law Institute-American Bar Association, 2000) K 740 H99cp

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


Legal Action Program

Provides financial assistance to support litigation of significance to the real estate industry and private property rights.


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