Tennessee HOA Laws and Regulations
Know your association’s laws
Know your association’s laws
Homeowners’ associations in Tennessee are not subject to any formal government regulations if they manage single-family common interest communities. Condominium associations are subject to the Tennessee Condominium Act (Title 66, Chapter 27). Most common interest communities choose to register as nonprofit corporations and are therefore subject to all regulations outlined in State Nonprofit Law (Title 48, Chapter 51-100).
Since there are no formal regulations regarding HOAs, community rules can vary drastically. Community associations have the freedom to create and enforce as many or as few regulations as they desire so long as they do not contradict any federal or state laws. Typically, homeowners will sign a contract to join an HOA upon purchase of property within a common interest community. At that point, they are obligated to abide by any rules set forth by the association.
To start an incorporated common interest community, the initial board of directors must file the community charter with the secretary of state that will describe all rules and regulations set forth by the HOA along with the rights of the homeowners. Since HOAs in TN have no standardized regulations, the charter is the best source of information regarding HOA regulations.
The primary purpose of the homeowners’ association is to provide maintenance for common elements and protect property values within the community. To create a budget for costs associated with the maintenance and management of the community, the HOA has the right to collect regular assessments from homeowners. The board of directors may also impose additional fines on homeowners if they violate any regulations within the community charter.
It is the responsibility of the board of directors to keep detailed community records. These records should include:
These records should be made reasonably available to association members during regular business hours within 5 days of a written request.
Financial statements, including a balance sheet, must be prepared annually and delivered to association members. A separate report must be sent to the secretary of state. This report should be sent within 4 months of the end of the fiscal year.
Homeowners are entitled to vote during board elections and when adopting amendments to the community bylaws and charter. All voting is to take place during member meetings. The formula determining the number of votes allocated to each member should be found within the charter.
Member meetings are to take place annually. Additional special meetings may be called by the board of directors or by a petition signed by at least 10% of the allocated votes. The board of directors must provide adequate notice to all association members at least 10 days, but no more than 60 days, before the date of the meeting.
Amendments may be made to the charter with a 2/3 vote from association members during an official meeting. Any amendments to the charter must be filed with the secretary of state as articles of amendment to take effect.
HOA rules in Tennessee vary widely. It is important to read and understand all community regulations before purchasing property in an HOA-managed community. Most homeowners’ associations require the signing of a contract upon purchase.