Getting Charged Too Much for HOA Documents?

One of the escrow expenses buyers usually pay when buying a property within a homeowner association are document fees for the CCRs, Rules and Regulations, and other documents they are entitled to. This sometimes amounts to several hundred dollars.  Even though a law prevents homeowner associations charging more than the actual cost for such documents, a loophole allowed an HOA to delegate this task to outside vendors, who could charge whatever they wanted.

Good news. Earlier this month, California Gov. Brown signed AB 771, and the loophole closed, preventing home buyers in common interest developments such as condominiums or townhomes from being charged excess document fees.

Buyers used to only have to pay $150 at the most, but that cost may now go up to $400, payable up front by the buyer. But if a charge goes much beyond that, a buyer should be aware that they perhaps are being over-charged, and ask for an accounting of that cost by the HOA or its property manager. A fee of $1000 is probably excessive, and would be considered a financial burden by most condo buyers, and could be an indication that a buyer is being charged for documents that are "bundled" in, and not required.

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