Community Association Living: What to Expect

March 26, 2021

The community management association is a fundamental consideration if you plan to buy a home. You’ll likely have to take part in it as well.


What can you expect from living in a community association? That’s what you’ll learn today, as well as a few tips on how to build a better association.

It depends on the type of community association

The Community Associations Institute splits community associations into three types in its introduction to association living.


The association category depends on space ownership by the homeowners.

  • Planned communities

The most common type of community management entitles homeowners to the property, residence, and its lot. Residents own their interests separately from their neighbors.

However, membership is mandatory, and common areas belong to the association, though members still have obligations with them.

  • Condominiums

In condos, homeowners usually own the space within their homes. However, the land underneath their unit and its physical boundaries are not their property.

However, owners usually act as co-owners for common areas. The association may still own properties, but it depends on state law.

  • Cooperatives

In the rarest community association category, a corporation owns all properties making up the cooperative. Homeowners are entitled to shared interests and occupation rights.

Board members are more similar to shareholders, and the association owns more than common areas.

Rules and fees

Most homeowners relate their community management association with regulation. Assessing your association’s rules is the first step to get along with everyone.

Let’s go through the most common types of rules.


Most community associations are relatively strict with what homeowners can do with their homes’ exterior. It’s more prevalent in condominiums, but you should always ask about outdoor decorations before breaking any rules from your association.


Not all communities are pet-friendly, but even the ones that are might have restrictions. Check whether pets are allowed and which races are permitted.


Your community association may limit whether you can rent your home for short or long terms. Some communities may also restrict the number of people per unit.


Finally, some associations restrict specific vehicle categories, like food and business vehicles, boats, and trucks.


Governance depends on the type of community association, but most communities follow the same approach. All homeowners are members of the board, and they’re responsible for partaking in meetings and decisions related to rules and community developments.

Community management

Finally, we can split management approaches into three categories. A community management association can come in many ways.

Homeowners aren’t always direct managers. The association can come from volunteer work or third-party services.

  • Volunteering

Volunteer community associations work from the homeowners’ will. The board manages the association directly, or they can create committees with groups of residents.

  • Association employment

Some associations prefer to employ a dedicated community manager. This manager works under the board’s direction for a salary.

  • Management firms

Finally, the community association can hire a management company. These companies send a representative who acts as the community manager.