The Georgia State legislature is currently considering legislation, H. B. 410, that will stop communities from being able to control what fees they charge when a home sells in the community. As it stands now, many communities collect a Capital Contribution Fee, or Initiation Fee, that goes towards maintaining the existing amenities in the community, including the pool, landscaping, and clubhouse.
Nobody Wants to Pay More, But is the Bill Really That Bad?
The Capital Contribution Fee (or Initiation Fee) a new homeowner pays to a community are a major source of funding to developers and builders as they are building a new community. Limiting this kind of fee will lead to developers taking their business and jobs out of Georgia when building a new neighborhood.
These fees are determined and established by the people who develop new communities or by the volunteers of the HOA. They are most familiar with the expenses of running these communities. By letting the government, instead of the communities, set these fees for everyone, it hurts those communities that may already be struggling by limiting how they can collect funds. Remember that these are Not-For-Profit Corporations, not some greedy company that takes homeowner money and gives it to the volunteers and service providers.
Limiting the fees that pay for these services just means that the cost for them has to come from somewhere else: the communities' costs will still be the same. This bill would cause everyone in an Association to pay for a service only benefits the seller of the home, the one who is leaving the community. The new homeowner joining the community will still have higher dues to look forward to.
When someone is paying all of the fees associated with buying a new home, the fee to their HOA are lower than the ones to their realtor, mortgage insurance, or title insurance. If the government's goal is to lower costs, then we should try and get those bigger costs in check. Cutting the small amount of funds that are actually going to stay in the community is not the right way to lower costs when buying a home. On the other hand, if limiting those sounds like the government having too much influence on the real estate market, then I would ask that you consider H. B. 410 the same way.
How Do We Stop Our Dues From Increasing?
As you can see, this bill misses the mark in a lot of big ways, but there is something that we can do about it. We all need to contact our representatives on the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully ask that they oppose H. B. 410. If we all speak up and explain on our grievances calmly and rationally, we can help ensure that living in a community Association in the enjoyable and rewarding experience that it should be.
Contact Details for each member of the House Judiciary Committee:
Rep. Andrew Welch
Rep. Barry Fleming
Rep. Beth Beskin
Rep. Dale Rutledge
Rep. David Dreyer
Rep. Jay Powell
Rep. Johnnie Caldwell
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver
Rep. Meagan Hanson
Rep. Pamela Stephenson
Rep. Randy Nix
Rep. Rich Golick
Rep. Roger Bruce
Rep. Scott Holcomb
Rep. Stacey Evans
Rep. Trey Kelley
Rep. Wendell Willard