Homeowner Associations or HOA and more importantly covenants are often a part of rural properties. They can vary wildly from overly prescriptive and enforced to loosely written and often forgotten.
- Many rural areas in Montana do not have zoning laws. Covenants and HOAs have often been used to protect property values by creating guidelines for landowners.
- Many subdivisions and planned developments have covenants and design guidelines that limit the use of the property. Find out if there are covenants and make sure you can live with them.
- HOAs are often responsible for the maintenance of roads, utilities, and other common elements in subdivisions. Carefully read all covenants and bylaws of your association, your Realtor can help you learn if the association is functioning, or connect you with HOA leadership. A dysfunctional or non-existent association can cause problems for you and even involve you in expensive litigation.
- Dues are almost always a requirement for those subdivisions that have an HOA. The by-laws of the association should outline how the organization operates and how dues are set, collected, and spent.
- Some subdivisions prohibit the type and number of animals you can keep. Be sure you read your covenants carefully and understand what will and won’t be allowed on the property.
- Enforcement of covenants is dependent on the HOA.