If you hold a leadership role in a homeowners association (HOA) in Oregon, then you need to know about the laws and regulations that govern these organizations. In this article, we'll provide an overview of this legislation to give you a good understanding of how a homeowners association should be run.

Understanding Homeowners Associations

Before we get into the laws, let's first talk a little about what a homeowners association is. A homeowners association (HOA) is an entity created by the residents of a community, housing development, or condominium complex.

This private association implements rules and regulations to preserve property values and shared facilities, collects maintenance and improvement fees, and oversees common areas. HOAs strive to provide a coherent and well-kept living environment.

HOAs are governed by legislation and their own governing documents, which often include the following:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R)

Oregon HOA Rights and Responsibilities

HOAs in Oregon can enforce their rules and bylaws, collect fees, maintain common spaces, and adopt rules and regulations. Homeowners can vote on HOA decisions and see financial information.

These common interest communities also have the responsibility to maintain proper records, communicate well with members, vendors, and staff, and schedule regular meetings, ensuring that members receive sufficient notice.

Oregon HOA Laws and Regulations

In the section below, we'll discuss the acts and laws that pertain to HOAs in Oregon.

Oregon Planned Communities Act

The Oregon Planned Communities Act, which you can find in Chapter 94, Section 500 of the Oregon Statutes, governs homeowner's associations in the state of Oregon. This statute regulates all structures and renovations where homeowners are jointly liable for the upkeep, functioning, and insurance of any real estate within the community.

Oregon Condominium Act

Condominium associations in Oregon are regulated by this act. It establishes the legal basis for the establishment of such associations, the allocation of interest, shared costs, oversight, insurance, transparency, voting rights, governance, and authority of condominium associations.

Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act

This legislation regulates nonprofit corporations in terms of their organizational structure and operation. According to ORS 94.828 (1), Oregon HOAs must be incorporated as for-profit or nonprofit entities.

Condominium associations that were formed on or after the 27th of September 2007 have to be represented as for-profit or non-profit corporations, provided the condo in question has at least four units.

Oregon Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Oregon Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act (ODCPA) is a state legislation in Oregon that governs debt collecting. It makes aggressive, dishonest, and unfair collection practices illegal.

Debt collectors are required by the ODCPA to make specific disclosures, respect the rights of consumers (which, in this case, are delinquent homeowners), and refrain from harassing or misrepresenting them. Legal action and penalties may be imposed for violations.

Oregon Unlawful Discrimination Act

The Oregon Unlawful Discrimination Act (OUDA) is a state law that forbids prejudice and discrimination against homeowners based on a number of protected traits, including disability, marital status, national origin, race, gender, and others.

It addresses a variety of issues, including public accommodations, housing, employment, and education. OUDA requires equal opportunity and treatment for all people and allows homeowners to file complaints with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries if they are discriminated against by a homeowners association.

Unfortunately, it would be impossible to list all the laws and regulations that govern HOAs in Oregon, so it's important for you to do more research and seek legal counsel. Certain counties may implement their own regulations, so be sure to look those up and ensure that your HOA is compliant to avoid penalties.

Fines and Foreclosures

Community associations in Oregon have the authority to fine homeowners for violations of the bylaws adopted and the late payment of dues. The governing documents will contain any notification requirements as well as more details, such as the sum of any fines issued.

In Oregon, a homeowners association is allowed to place a lien and foreclose on a property in its community. When a homeowner fails to pay their membership fees, the homeowner's association has the authority to place a lien on the property. If a lien is not addressed, an association may foreclose on the property.

No Homeowners Association May Prohibit the Use of Certain Items

Homeowners associations in Oregon are not permitted to prohibit the use or installation of the following:

  • Charging facilities for electric vehicles
  • Solar panels
  • Setting up a family daycare center
  • The US national flag (as long as it is done in accordance with the federal flag law)
  • Antennas and satellite dishes

However, to maintain aesthetic standards, HOAs may provide guidelines on the placement of such items in their governing documents.

About DoorLoop's HOA Management Tools

Are you having trouble managing your HOA in Oregon? Don't worry - there's still hope! By taking advantage of the latest technology, you can ensure that you remain compliant with the relevant legislation.

DoorLoop's HOA management software has a variety of useful features that will assist you in managing work orders, preparing and maintaining financial records, communicating with homeowners, staff, and vendors, and storing essential documents.

Our software is not only feature-rich but also relatively easy to use, so you can be confident that implementing this software into your HOA won't be a stressful process.

We also provide world-class support and free demos so that you can experience our software before making any payments. Contact us today to learn more or get your free demo!

Closing Thoughts

Well, there you have it! You now have a good idea of which laws govern homeowners associations in Oregon. All that's left is to do further research into local laws and implement these regulations as you run your HOA.

If you are looking for intuitive tools to help ensure that your community association remains compliant, please give DoorLoop a try by scheduling a free demo!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are HOA governing documents?

The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation are HOA governing documents. These documents detail the rules, duties, and processes that members and the HOA Board of Directors must follow.

2. Can a dispute between an Oregon HOA and a homeowner reach federal district court?

Yes, a disagreement between an Oregon community association and a homeowner may reach federal district court if it concerns federal law or constitutional issues.

A disgruntled member may choose to file a private lawsuit against the association and its board members if they feel that they have been treated unfairly, which is why it is important that HOA managers know how to handle complaints and disputes.

However, most HOA-related matters are normally addressed in state courts unless a federal law has been violated. 

3. Is it mandatory to join a homeowners association in Oregon?

Because there are no state laws that specify whether HOA membership is optional or mandatory, it is left to the planned community to decide whether or not homeowners will be obligated to join.

If a homeowner moves to an area that is governed by a mandatory HOA, he or she is required to become a member. However, should the person end up in a neighborhood managed by an HOA that does not force homeowners to join, he or she can choose to join or leave at their own discretion.

4. Can Oregon HOAs fine members for failing to pay fees?

Yes, Oregon HOAs have the power to impose fines for unpaid HOA fees or assessments. The type of fine and the amount will need to be specified in the organization's governing documents.

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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!