A Homeowners' Association, or HOA, is an association comprised of all lot owners or unit owners in a given development. The developments include Planned Communities and Condominiums. HOAs are responsible for maintaining common areas or elements, managing community finances, collecting assessments, and enforcing the association's governing documents, rules, and regulations.
When you purchase property governed by an HOA you automatically become a member of the association. Membership is mandatory. By purchasing the property, you have entered into an agreement to obey all restrictions and rules of the community.
According to North Carolina state law, a HOA can place a lien on the property for failure to pay assessments, and may foreclose upon the lien if the owner refuses to pay past due assessments after proper notice. A lien may also be placed on the property for failure to pay fines imposed upon the owner for violation of the CC&Rs, Bylaws, or rules of the community.
Covenants, Condition, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the restrictions that regulate the use of the land and the common areas. CC&Rs vary from community to community and may restrict such things as whether an owner can lease their property or even if they can keep pets. Bylaws are guidelines for the operation of the HOA. Bylaws specify the responsibilities of the Board of Directors, the membership's voting rights, and required meetings and notices of meetings.