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Georgia HOA Laws

Georgia HOA Laws & GA Homeowners Association Resources The Georgia Condominium Act, O.C.G.A. § 44-3-70 to § 44-3-117 and the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act, O.C.G.A. § 44-3-220 to § 44-3-235 (2004) are the primary statutory authority.

The two areas of law are similar and often merge (for a discussion of the similarities and differences, see 1 Ga. Jur. Property § 6:78). Unless exempt, anyone providing community association management services to a mandatory membership association with common property must be licensed by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. In fact, except in limited circumstances, only a real estate broker licensed by the Georgia Real Estate Commission is permitted to engage in community association management services.

However, a licensed broker can delegate these responsibilities to certain licensed sales people and CAM’s who hold their license with such broker and who will be acting on behalf of such broker.

Governing Documents & Laws: State Law Considerations:

The Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State provide the legal basis of the association in the form of an Incorporated Non-Profit Corporation. The recorded map or ‘plat’ defines each owner’s title to property including the association’s title to common areas. The CCR’s (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) are publicly recorded deed restrictions. The Bylaws are the rules for management and administration. Resolutions are additional rules and regulations that the association may adopt. Federal Laws also apply.

Some but not all include the The Fair Housing Act, Internal Revenue Codes, the American Disabilities Act, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act , the FCC OTARD Rule (Over the Air Reception Devices – Satellite Dishes) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. There are typically additional state laws that are not specific to Common Interest Communities which require compliance. Some examples include stormwater runoff, coastal development, elevator inspections for condos, and pool operations to name a few.

Local Ordinances, while not specific to homeowner associations, apply to building codes, animal control, abandoned cars, water, etc. Additional legal regulations can exist in the form of case law; standards set by professional organizations such as accountants, engineers, architects, home inspectors, and real estate brokers; as well as lender requirements. State laws affecting Common Interest Communities vary widely.

Bills affecting Common Interest Communities are frequently being introduced in state legislatures and may be in different stages of consideration, approval, or enactment. It is not uncommon to find conflicts within or between governing documents such as the covenants and the bylaws. There may also be conflicts between governing documents and statutes. When this occurs, attorneys must often consider applying Rules of Intepretation.

Because of the wide variance in state laws, constant changes and possible conflicts in governing documents or statutes, it is strongly recommended that association boards and members seek legal counsel and especially with firms that have expertise or strong practice experience in the area of Common Interest Community law. A good starting point is to check the HOA-USA Vendor Directory for your respective state.