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Could Georgia lawmakers raise your HOA dues?

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The Gist: A bill being considered by the Georgia Senate is pitting Realtors against homeowners associations over the amount of money an HOA can charge for closing packages. At issue is the senate version of the bill, which caps the fees at $100. The house version of the bill, HB 410, capped the fees at $250.

Who supports the bill?: Realtors support the bill, believing that the fees levied for closing letters can be prohibitive and prevent a home sale from going through. In a recent Facebook post, the Georgia Association of Realtors equated the fees to “price gouging” by HOA management companies.

Who is against it?: HOAs, or more specifically, the management companies that handle the business of HOAs are against the bill and claim that the $100 cap would lead to increased HOA dues. They say the $100 cap isn’t enough to cover the cost and would just mean that the cost would be passed on to existing homeowners in the form of increased dues.

What exactly is a closing letter or closing package?: When you buy a house that is part of an HOA, the association must provide information about the dues, any covenant violations on the property, late fees, covenants and the status of the property with the HOA at that time. Since this information is specific to the home and the home-owner, it takes time and resources to compile, so HOA management companies charge a fee for collecting and submitting this information.

What is the next step?: The Senate Judiciary Committee just recommended passage of the substitute version of the bill (The $100 cap.) The next step is a vote on the Senate floor, which could happen Friday.

What do you think?: Tell us what you think of this measure by commenting or taking the poll below.

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