For those considering a condo, it is important to learn about the rules and costs of any association that applies to a property. Like a homeowner’s association (HOA), a condo owners association (COA) collects monthly dues from residents. That money is used to take care of common areas and the structure itself. For example, clearing snow in the winter or installing a new roof. The members elect a board and share in the decision-making process about how the money is spent, getting bids for work, etc. The association also determines rules and regulations and their enforcement.
Some condo owners might find a COA’s rules to be as restrictive as an apartment’s. For example, the association can decide to ban pets, limit what is kept on balconies, or prohibit certain seasonal decorations. Before purchasing a condo, it is important for buyers to understand how strict the COA’s rules are, and decide if they can live with the restrictions.
In an apartment, renters pay higher rent for more amenities. A property with a doorman, luxurious lobby, swimming pool, and workout room is going to cost more. The same goes for a condo and its COA fees. The more resources and extras, the higher the fees. COA fees vary greatly by region as well as amenities, but most average about $300 per month.
Missouri does not have rules for homeowners associations, but they do have laws governing condominium associations. The Missouri Condominium Property Act covers all condo associations formed prior to September 28, 1983. Associations organized after that date are covered by the Missouri Uniform Condominium Act. In Illinois, the Illinois Condominium Property Act is in effect.
These Acts lay out rules for how the organizations must be organized. There are specific requirements regarding bylaws, meetings, and voting, as well as strict anti-discrimination enforcement.