HOA fees generally cover the same communal needs as rental payments do for managed rental properties. HOA fees generally pay for routine yard maintenance, security systems, street lighting, utility access, and the upkeep of community amenties such as club houses, pools, tennis courts or walking trails.
There may be a number of other destinations for HOA fees, depending on the size and financial demographics of the community. Since HOA fees are often attached to mortgage payments, there is rarely a problem with compliance. Home owners associations have an obligation to make sure HOA fees are being used responsibly.
Routine maintenance may include lawn mowing and basic landscaping in the summer, and snow removal in the winter. If trees need to be trimmed for safety reasons, HOA fees may be used to hire a reputable tree service. A number of private housing developments must negotiate with local utility companies to establish services, or else the developers may have installed private utilities for the exclusive use of community members. HOA fees may be used to keep those utility arrangements in good order.
Besides the regular HOA fees collected monthly through mortgage payments, a home owners association may also pay for unexpected communal expenses through "special assessments". If a tornado or fire destroys communal property, for instance, individual home or condominium owners may be assessed a percentage of the repair costs.
HOA fees also pay premiums for disaster insurance on the buildings themselves, but not the contents inside them. HOA fees do not pay for individual home owners' insurance coverage.