Massachusetts HOA Laws and Regulations

Know your association’s laws

Massachusetts Community Association Law

Homeowners associations in Massachusetts are not governed or regulated by any act. Chapter 138A of the State Code describes condominium management but those laws do not apply to HOAs. The only laws applicable to the management of HOAs (aside from standard State and Federal laws) are the declarations and bylaws created by the association itself. If you are thinking of purchasing property in an association-managed community, make sure to look over all governing documents before entering into a contract.

While HOAs are not very popular in the Northeast, some do exist but mainly for homeowners to own a shared facility such as a roadway, recreational facility, swimming pool, tennis court, water treatment facility, etc. Unlike most homeowners’ associations around the country, the primary purpose is ownership of common areas rather than the protection of home values. Condominiums and condo associations are much more popular in the New England region.


Homeowners Association’s Rights and Responsibilities

HOAs have the right to create and implement the rules and regulations for their community. Because they are not governed by any specific regulations, the declarations and bylaws can vary drastically from the community to the community. Homeowners are expected to obey all regulations set forth by the community association so long as they do not contradict local and state laws.

For organizational purposes, most HOAs in Massachusetts choose to follow State Corporate Law which describes the creation of bylaws, record filing, and electing a board of directors. These laws may be adopted by the homeowners’ association to fit their specific needs.


Homeowner Rights

Homeowners are responsible for knowing and understanding all regulations set forth by the homeowners’ association. Because no government regulations are controlling HOAs, homeowners may dispute their rulings in court as they would against any other entity. If you purchase property within an HOA-managed community, more than likely, you will have to sign a contract stating your membership within the HOA and your acknowledgment of community regulations.


Community Association Law in MA

Please note that CSM is not a licensed attorney and cannot provide legal advice. If you have questions about interpreting your state’s legal requirements or the association’s governing documents, please contact an attorney that is licensed in your state.
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