Moving out of a neighborhood that’s led by a homeowners’ association (HOA) isn’t a “pack up and go” kind of situation. It involves several steps — more than what you’d have to deal with in a non-HOA neighborhood. And although living in an HOA community comes with advantages, it also comes with a long to-do list when it comes to homeowners’ duties. This includes navigating the obstacles of moving out, many of which you probably weren’t aware of.
With decades of experience, our South Florida property managers are here to provide you with tried-and-tested advice on moving out of your HOA home. These are the things you need to do before finding buyers or listing your South Florida single-family house.
How to Move Out of an HOA Home
As a homeowner in an HOA-regulated neighborhood, that means you’re a member of the association. With that said, you are expected to abide by their rules. For example, to upgrade your backyard, you’d have to seek the HOA board’s approval. It’s the same for moving out of your house. You need to deal with certain duties before you can list your house for sale.
#1 Inform Your HOA of Your Plans
The first thing you need to do is to tell the HOA your plans. Let them know that you’re thinking of selling your house. Check the HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) to know what the procedures are. You can also as your HOA or property management company to guide you through the steps. By informing the HOA early, you can get a headstart on the things you need to do. Remember, not all HOAs create the same rules, so it’s best to read your HOA’s bylaws for the specifics.
#2 Pay Unpaid Dues
As a member of the association, you’re obligated to pay the regular association dues. If you forget to pay, that doesn’t put you in the clear — the amount will accumulate, and you’ll have to settle them sooner or later. Additionally, if you owe the association fees or fines, you have to pay them off. If you don’t clear your debts, the HOA board won’t allow you to move out. In other words, it complicates the moving-out process. And while you will be able to sell your house, the unpaid amount will be taken from the money you make.
Pro Tip: A property management company can ensure that you don’t forget to pay the association dues. That way, when the time comes to sell, you won’t have to worry about your debts.
#3 Find Out If There Are Any Fees
Not all homeowners associations collect a fee to transfer the HOA membership to the new homeowner, but you should still find out if your HOA does. The fee can be hefty — it is either a flat fee or a percentage of the profit from the sale of your house. It’s critical to foresee this cost so you can account for it in the sale. If you don’t plan for this additional fee, you’ll likely end up paying out-of-pocket.
#4 Schedule an Inspection
It’s common for HOAs to schedule a mandatory home inspection. Also called a “compliance inspection”, it ensures that the property complies with the homeowners’ association’s CC&R. For instance, certain HOAs don’t allow a certain color to be painted on the outside of the house. If your property violates the CC&Rs, you’ll have to resolve the issue/s prior to moving out. The inspection is typically conducted by the HOA’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or by an HOA management company.
#5 Determine the HOA’s Moving Hours
Some HOAs don’t allow homeowners to move out whenever they want. This is because they want to protect the neighborhood’s peace. After all, wouldn’t you be annoyed if your neighbor moved out at ten in the evening? Moving vans and moving services can be a nuisance to the community. Check the community hours or ask a member of the board to know when you’re allowed to pack up.
#6 Disclose HOA Documents to the Homebuyer
As the seller, you need to disclose all HOA-related documents to the potential homebuyer. This includes rules and regulations, which enable your potential homebuyer to be aware of what they can and can’t do as homeowners. You should also disclose the house’s accounts or the dues that you owe to the association. That is why it’s critical to ensure your accounts are in good standing, as their status can make or break the sale.
#7 Prepare the HOA Documents
Don’t forget to provide the new owner with a “resale package” that contains everything they need to know regarding the HOA. This includes the bylaws, CC&Rs, and other information that the new homeowner should be aware of, such as the association fees. We recommend working closely with a property management company or realtor to make sure that all the documents are good to go.
#8 Arrange Gate Access
If your South Florida property is in a gated community, you’ll need to arrange gate access with the neighborhood manager. Some HOAs are strict when it comes to allowing moving vans, movers, etc. into the neighborhood. Hence, you’ll need to check with the HOA to make sure you don’t break the rules. If you’re moving out of a condo unit, you’ll have to ask permission to park the moving truck in the firetruck lane, too.
Manage Your Move With Professional Property Managers
Moving out of an HOA-governed community can be challenging due to the additional steps. For a hassle-free move, hire the property managers at Luxury Property Care. Not only do we provide long-distance moving services, but we’re also involved in the move-out process with the association. As experts, we handle it all, saving you from the overwhelming experience of moving out from an HOA home. With us by your side, it’ll be smooth sailing all the way.