Update: Deal vetoes HOA closing packages bill

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Update: Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed House Bill 410, the HOA bill, May 8. The governor cited concerns that the cap was lower than any other state that has implemented such a bill and might not cover the costs the HOA management company would be incurring. In his statement upon vetoing the bill, Deal said  it “could impose burdensome responsibilities on associations and their members and, regardless, absent sufficient justification, parties should generally be left alone to dicker the terms of their private agreements without government intrusion.”

The background information on the bill is below if you need to catch up on this one.

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 homeowner, it takes time and resources to compile, so HOA management companies charge a fee for collecting and submitting this information.

What do you think?: Tell us what you think of Deal’s veto on this bill by commenting below.