It's important for HOA board members, managers, and executives to have a good understanding of the laws that govern these organizations. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the various rights and responsibilities that homeowner associations in Georgia have.

What Are Homeowners' Associations?

A homeowners' association (HOA) is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for maintaining the aesthetic and functional integrity of common interest communities, condominiums, or neighborhoods. The association devises and enforces rules and regulations to govern the use of properties in the confines of the community.

HOAs are managed by a board of directors and are elected by members. Membership is typically required to purchase a house in an area where such an association has been established.

About an Association's Governing Documents

HOAs have governing documents, which are kind of like a constitution that details its rules and regulations. In an agreement known as a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), a homeowners' association often outlines its regulations as restrictive covenants. CC&Rs impose various standards on property owners in terms of upkeep to ensure that the neighborhood's aesthetic appearance is upheld. 

These criteria may include structural limitations, such as the type of fencing a property owner is permitted to install, or landscaping restrictions. A CC&R document may also describe the penalties for breaking the agreement's guidelines. Penalties might take the form of fines or forced compliance. In some cases, it can even be as serious as legal action.

An Overview of the Laws That Govern HOAs in Georgia

In the section below, we'll take a closer look at some of the laws that regulate homeowners' associations in Georgia.

Property Owners' Association Act

The Property Owners' Association Act oversees the creation, management, authority, and functions of the HOAs in Georgia. It's important to note here that associations can be formed under the POAA or using common law principles. In such cases, this act will not apply. By registering (or modifying) a declaration specifically electing to be regulated by the POAA, an HOA can "opt-in" to this kind of arrangement.

Georgia Condominium Act

This act governs private condominiums built after the first of October 1975 or condominiums that have chosen to enter into the act by means of a formal declaration (or revising an old declaration).

Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code

Before recording a proclamation, Georgia HOAs must be formed as either nonprofit or for-profit businesses. As a result, if the association is formed as a nonprofit, it will be subject to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code. The Georgia Business Corporation Code governs for-profit organizations. These laws dictate how the association is to be managed in terms of its internal process and corporate structure. 

Fines for Unpaid HOA Fees and Violations

In Georgia, homeowners' associations have the authority to impose fines for the violation of its rules and regulations. Late fees for assessments and other reasonable fees mentioned in the association's governing documents are also permitted. If dues are not paid, a lien may be imposed on the property.

When there is a lien on the property and notice is given to the owner of the property, a late payment penalty of $10 or 10 percent of the sum of the unpaid charges can be applied. If fines remain unpaid and the association takes legal action, additional expenses in the form of court expenses and legal fees may be levied.

HOAs May Not Impose Fines for Certain Acts

It's important for board members, executives, and others who fulfill a role in an HOA in Georgia to understand that there are certain things that homeowners may not be fined for. Members are permitted to install antennas and satellite dishes. They may also display the national flag, provided it is exhibited in accordance with federal flag display law. However, an HOA's governing documents may contain fair regulations and guidelines regarding the placement, method, and presentation of these elements. 

Georgia Property Owners' Association Rights and Responsibilities

An HOA's principal function is to perform maintenance of all common areas. In the section below, we'll explore the rights and responsibilities that these associations have.


The organization has the authority to charge community members fees in order to cover the costs of communal maintenance. It is illegal for the board to charge various fees for common costs that are shared equitably by all members of the community.

Additional special assessments are sometimes necessary to cover the costs of specialized repairs or other initiatives that apply solely to certain members. It's important to note that there is no limit to the amount that can be charged, and the funds can be administered disproportionately as the board of directors deems acceptable.

Modifying the HOA's Declaration and Bylaws

Without the permission of property owners, the board of directors may make modifications to the organization's bylaws and declaration. The board also has the authority to act autonomously on behalf of the members of the community.

Responsibility to Maintain and File Financial Records

In addition, the HOA is responsible for maintaining accurate records of financial transactions and making them available to all community members. Financial reports will need to be filed annually. 


Meetings must be held at least once a year, as described in the governing documents, and the entire community must be allowed to attend. Members will need to receive at least 21 days' notice before annual meetings. However, in the event that a special meeting needs to be held, a minimum of seven days notice is required. Unless stipulated in the governing documents, a quorum is formed when at least one-third of the members are present.

Unpaid Assessments and Liens

The HOA is allowed to place liens and fines on a property when a member fails to pay their dues. However, according to Georgia HOA laws, late fees must not exceed $10 or 10 percent of the assessment (whichever is higher). In addition, if any past-due charges remain on a unit after it has been sold, the new homeowner is responsible for them.

Homeowners May File a Complaint If They Are Unhappy with Their HOA

The truth is that there are a number of routes a homeowner can take if they are unhappy with their HOA. Knowing how to deal with complaints is important. You can read our guide on dealing with complaints here. Let's take a look at some of the authorities that members can approach for various types of complaints.

Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination of a homeowner based on their race, age, national origin, religion, color, familial status, or handicap. Homeowners may take legal action by filing a lawsuit against the HOA. They can approach either a state or federal court to report a discriminatory act. They may also approach the following committees for assistance:

Unfair HOA Fees

In addition to filing a complaint with a federal or state court, homeowners may use one of the following to take action against a homeowners' association in Georgia:

How to Join or Leave an HOA in Georgia

The Georgia Code makes no mention of the rules for joining or leaving a homeowners' association. The governing documents of the HOA contain more details about this. At the closing for a new homeowner's property purchase, documents describing the association and its membership rules will have to be provided.

There are both voluntary and mandatory HOAs in Georgia, which means that in some communities, it is compulsory to become a member when you move to the area, and the only way to leave is to sell your home or request that your property be removed. In other parts of the state, joining the homeowners' association is voluntary, and members can join and leave as they please.

Dissolving a Georgia HOA

In Georgia, the process of dissolving a property owners' association can be found in the organization's governing documents. However, if this process is not described in the governing documents, members can vote. 

Suppose most members of the HOA agree that it is appropriate to dissolve the association, the HOA board of directors must produce a written report or plan of dissolution outlining the allocation of all of its assets and the disposition of any liabilities. It will then need to file a notice of intent with the Attorney General's Office.

If the plan is approved, it can be submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State. Once assets and liabilities have been handled according to the dissolution strategy, the board must finalize the filing of the Articles of Dissolution with the Georgia Secretary of State.

About DoorLoop HOA Tools

The truth is that managing a homeowners' association in Georgia is no easy task. With a myriad of Georgia HOA laws to take note of, remaining compliant can be challenging. Fortunately, you can use property management software to stay on top of things.

DoorLoop offers a powerful set of features designed to streamline your operation and ensure that you are not wasting time on mundane tasks. Whether you need assistance managing the association's books or managing maintenance tasks, DoorLoop offers intuitive tools to help you every step of the way. The best part is that you get to try them out risk-free by scheduling a free demo!

DoorLoop has powerful accounting features and can help you receive and track assessments. It also features an innovative portal that allows you to effectively communicate with community members, staff, and vendors.

Plus, the user-friendly interface ensures that you are able to find the features you're looking for quickly and easily. You can also count on world-class support to ensure that your software is working as it should be. To learn more about DoorLoop's impressive list of features or try it out for yourself, get in touch with us today.

Final Thoughts

The truth is that homeowners' associations in Georgia are complex organizations that require a comprehensive knowledge of the relevant laws. Now that you have a good understanding of how an HOA should be run, you're well on your way to setting up or operating one effectively.

If you require assistance with day-to-day operations, you can turn to DoorLoop for world-class services and a comprehensive list of tools designed to meet your needs. Contact us today to schedule your free demo and try DoorLoop's innovative property management software for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who regulates homeowners' associations in Georgia?

Title 44, Chapter 3, Article 6 of the Georgia Code, governs community associations in Georgia. This act, which is known as the Property Owners' Associations Act, governs a community of homeowners who have the responsibility of repairing and maintaining shared areas. It's also important to note that there are other federal and state laws that may dictate what an HOA may or may not do. 

While each association is unique, the governing documents often comprise the following: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Conditions and Restrictions, and Declaration of Covenants. These governing documents detail how the association is to be run.

2. Are HOA governing documents public records in Georgia?

In Georgia, the governing documents of a homeowners' association are not public records. These documents are retained by the organization itself and may only be viewed by a member of the association upon request.

3. What do HOAs in Georgia have the authority to do?

A Georgia HOA has the authority to manage shared spaces and amenities, charge assessments for the upkeep of these facilities, impose fair penalties for non-compliance, and foreclose on a home due to outstanding liens. In addition, HOAs may have additional power, depending on their governing documents. This might include exterior paint color limitations, restrictions on the types of fences that may be installed, membership requirements, and parking regulations.

4. Are Georgia homeowners' associations allowed to enter private properties in the community?

State law makes no mention of homeowner's associations having permission to enter a homeowner's property. In their governing documents, most community associations include a provision permitting the HOA to gain access to the homeowner's home as reasonably appropriate to maintain the premises, shared spaces, or common utilities. Unless in the event of a serious emergency, a HOA is required to notify the homeowner prior to accessing the home. Usually, the association will provide one to two weeks' notice, although the governing documents will define the requirements.

5. Does an HOA in Georgia have the authority to foreclose a home?

In Georgia, an HOA has the authority to foreclose on a property that is located in its area of responsibility. When a homeowner fails to pay his or her fees, the HOA will place a lien on the owner's home. If the lien is not addressed, the HOA may foreclose on the property. HOAs are required to provide homeowners with a 30-day notice of foreclosure. By court order, a foreclosure may only be approved if the lien on the property is worth a minimum of $2,000.

It's important to mention here that homeowners' associations in Georgia do not have the authority to evict a homeowner. However, the organization may be able to evict a tenant for a violation. If the lease was signed without obtaining the relevant authorization from the homeowners' association, the HOA may evict the tenant.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!