D.A. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a small homeowners association (HOA) where nobody wants to follow the rules, pay common fees, or even serve on the Board. It is a small cluster of homes where everyone just keeps to themselves and really couldn’t care that there is an HOA. There is a small parcel of land that is owned in common. It used to be a landscaped play area for kids but now is just an open lot. Since there is no interest in having an HOA here, can we just stop functioning as one? What does it take to dissolve the HOA?
Mister Condo replies:
D.A., I am sorry that your HOA has become so dysfunctional that it wishes to dissolve. There are many advantages to keeping the HOA but I hear what you are saying about folks just not being interested. Once again, I am not a lawyer so think of this advice as friendly and not legal.
The easiest place to start is the HOA documents. I hope you can locate your copy or find a copy. There may be a simple method for dissolution outlined in the documents. If so, simply follow the steps. I’d also hire an attorney to review your actions to make sure they are legal.
Another consideration is in the paperwork that was filed with your local municipality when the HOA was formed. If there was a binding agreement with the town or city, you may be bound to honor that agreement and maintain the HOA. Again, the attorney can help with that process.
Provided there are no other legal hurdles for you t dissolve, you will also need to rally the fellow homeowners. If not enough of them are interested in dissolving the HOA, you will not be able to proceed. Since the association does own some land, there may also be tax issues and how to rid the HOA of the land. Maybe the town or city will take it back as a donation? If not, that could also stop the process from moving forward.
A simpler solution may just be to let things continue as they are. All of the effort and cost of dissolving your HOA may far outweigh the value of doing so. And who knows, maybe a more enthusiastic group of owners will someday volunteer their time to serve on the Board and revitalize the HOA? There could be tremendous benefits to all HOA residents if that were to happen. Good luck!