Important Definitions for Homeowners Associations
Working with a property management company can greatly improve the value of your property. With the right team behind you to back your every move, your neighborhood will flourish as it fills more homes and grows its value. It’s important to understand the definitions pertinent to homeowners associations (HOAs) according to the Florida Statutes Chapter 720.301. In this article, our Tampa homeowners association management experts will discuss the most important definitions in this important statute.
Assessment or Amenity Fee
This term refers to the sum or sums of money due to the association for various neighborhood fees. This fee can be associated with an array of costs including landscaping, trash valet, general upkeep, security, and more. When you fail to pay an assessment, the property owner can file a lien against the unit in question since assessments are typically outlined in your neighborhood covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R).
Any piece of real property located within a community that is owned or leased by the association for use by members. Typically, common areas include pools, clubhouses, and parks. There are two separate definitions for common areas in Florida Statutes Chapter 720.301:
- “Real property the use of which is dedicated to the association or its members by a recorded plat.”
- “Real property committed by a declaration of covenants to be leased or conveyed to the association.”
Any real property that has its declaration of covenants recorded in the county where the property is located meets the definition of “community.” Community is an umbrella term that includes all real property, even property in an undeveloped phase of construction. To simplify this definition, consider this—if your neighborhood has a gate, it most likely meets the definition of community.
Declaration of Covenants
This declaration transfers ownership of a piece of land or property to an association or associations where the owners of the parcels of land and the association representatives are also members. Essentially, the declaration of covenants certifies your community and establishes clear ownership.
Other Important Definitions
There are many other important definitions in Florida Statutes Chapter 720.301 including:
- “Department” – the Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- “Developer” – any person that creates a community that is served by an association or takes over such a community.
- “Division” – the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- “Member” – any resident or parcel owner in a community that has a signed obligation to pay an assessment or amenity fee.
- “Parcel” – any platted or unplatted subdivision of real property within a community.