Atlanta, GA asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia

Q: Can the HOA of a condo assoc raise HOA fees & make major capital decisions without any input from owners (Georgia)?

HOA fees were originally $151 for the 1 bedroom unit. The HOA took out a balloon loan several years ago and assure owners at the time that HOA fees would return to normal after the final payment in 2021. The fees never returned to normal but in December we were notified that they were increasing fees 25% in 2024 and have committed to major capital expenses, without consent of owners. Additionally, they changed the insurance policy coverage & limits without notifying owners, until there was a claim in August of 2022. Owners are livid but feel helpless

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Georgia, the ability of a Homeowners' Association (HOA) to raise fees and make major decisions typically depends on the governing documents of the association, like the bylaws and covenants. These documents usually outline the process the HOA must follow for such actions, including how and when to involve unit owners.

If the HOA is making significant financial decisions or altering policies like insurance coverage without consulting the owners, this could be a violation of the governing documents or state laws regulating HOAs. Owners have a right to be informed about changes that affect their property and financial obligations.

As an owner, you can request to see the association's bylaws and meeting minutes related to these decisions. This can help determine if the HOA followed the proper procedures. If the HOA is found to be acting outside its authority, owners can challenge these actions, often starting with internal dispute resolution procedures outlined in the HOA documents.

If internal remedies do not resolve the issue, legal action might be necessary. Consulting with an attorney who has experience with HOA law can provide guidance on the best course of action based on your specific situation.

Remember, it's important for all owners to be actively involved in their HOA and stay informed about its decisions, as these can have significant financial and legal implications for the owners.

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