As a board member, manager, or executive, you must ensure that you have a good understanding of the laws and regulations that govern homeowners associations (HOAs). However, it can be challenging to navigate the various acts and laws if you don't have any legal background.

Fortunately, we have provided a roadmap that you can follow to find some direction. This article will talk about the various state and federal laws that apply to most HOAs in Utah, as well as the rights and responsibilities of these organizations, fines and foreclosures, and more.

Let's get started!

What Are Homeowners and Condominium Associations?

Homeowners and condominium associations are organizations that administer and maintain the shared spaces and amenities in residential communities.

Single-family properties are often governed by homeowners associations, whereas condominium associations manage shared spaces in multi-unit complexes. They enforce community regulations, collect dues, and oversee property maintenance.

These associations are regulated by federal, state, and local laws, as well as their own governing documents, which typically consist of the Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), and Bylaws.

HOAs have the legal right to enforce certain rules and regulations to ensure the uniformity and visual appeal of the community, which can help to boost property values. They may also collect regular assessments to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs and have the right to levy fines for violations and late payment of dues.

In addition, HOAs are required to maintain common areas, prepare and maintain financial records, and set aside funds for future initiatives.

Utah HOA Laws

The following laws from the Utah Code apply to homeowners associations in the state. Keep in mind that we cannot list all the applicable laws, so it's important to do additional research and get legal counsel. HOAs are also bound by their own association rules and regulations.

Utah Community Association Act

The Utah Community Association Act, located in Title 57 Chapter 8a of the Utah Code, governs homeowner's associations in the state. This statute regulates all members of such organizations who own residential real estate and pay their proportionate share of overall property maintenance expenses.

Utah Condominium Ownership Act

This act controls the establishment, administration, authority, and functioning of condominium associations that specifically opt to be regulated by this law by filing out a declaration with the local county recorder's office where the condominium complex is situated.

Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act

In the state of Utah, the law oversees the formation and procedures of nonprofit corporations. This act governs all homeowners or condominium associations that are incorporated as nonprofit corporations.

Utah Fair Housing Act

Housing discrimination is prohibited under this act. Like the federal Fair Housing Act that provides federal-level protection, the Utah Fair Housing Act is designed to provide state-level protections. It prevents discrimination based on the following:

  • National origin
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Source of income
  • Familial status
  • Disability
  • Color
  • Religion

Fines and Foreclosures

In Utah, homeowners associations have the authority to levy fines on homeowners who violate the regulations outlined in the governing agreements.

Before imposing a penalty, however, the HOA must provide the property owner with written notice detailing the offense, the regulations that the owner's conduct violates, and a solution if the problem is ongoing.

Within 30 days of receiving written notification of the fine, the property owner can ask for a private hearing before the board. Furthermore, he or she has 180 days in which to file a legal action against the board's decision. More details concerning fines can be found in the association's governing documents.

In Utah, a community association can foreclose on an owner's home in its neighborhood. When a homeowner fails to make payments on their dues, the homeowner's association has the authority to lay a lien on the property. If a lien is not addressed, the HOA may foreclose on the home.

What HOAs in Utah May Not Issue Fines for

According to federal and state law, a homeowners association may not penalize or prohibit the installation or use of the following:

  • Incorporating water-wise landscaping
  • Satellite dishes and antennas
  • Solar energy systems
  • Political signs
  • An electric vehicle charging system
  • The US national flag, provided it is displayed in accordance with the federal flag display law

It's important to note here that HOAs may include reasonable guidelines on how the abovementioned items are to be placed to ensure that aesthetic standards are maintained.

About DoorLoop's Property Management Software

Homeowners associations are required to maintain proper financial records, communicate with members, schedule member meetings, prepare an annual budget, and more.

To do this, you will need access to the right tools. With DoorLoop, you get a comprehensive set of features designed especially for homeowners associations.

Whether you need to manage the books, store important documents, prepare governing documents, or communicate with vendors and staff, DoorLoop can help you reach your goals.

Our software is easy to use, so you can integrate it into your existing system with ease. To learn more about DoorLoop or get a free demo, get in touch with us today!

The Bottom Line

To ensure that your homeowner's association is run in accordance with the relevant legislation, you must ensure that you understand these laws well. In this article, we have pointed you in the right direction, but further research is needed to explore the local laws that may apply in your county.

If you would like assistance with your day-to-day operations to ensure that your HOA meets the guidelines set out by legislation, give DoorLoop a try! Schedule your free demo today to see what our property management software can do for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can an HOA take a homeowner's property for unpaid dues?

Yes. Utah community associations have the legal right to place a lien on a property if the homeowner has failed to pay their dues. If this lien is not addressed, it could lead to the foreclosure of the home.

2. Do homeowners take HOAs to court?

Yes, sometimes a dispute will end in a private lawsuit. The matter will then be taken to a federal or state court and could result in penalties, so it's important to ensure that your HOA complies with the relevant legislation. You can also read a short guide on how to handle complaints here.

3. How do I find HOA governing documents?

In Utah, homeowners associations' governing documents are considered public records. Community associations have to submit their bylaws to their local county recorder's office in the county where the association owns land. To get these documents, you will need to go to your county recorder's office.

In addition, homeowners associations in Utah are required to register with the Utah Department of Commerce. You can go to the website to conduct an online search.

4. What powers do HOAs in Utah have?

Homeowners associations may collect dues for the maintenance of common areas, restrict or prohibit rentals, impose reasonable fines, access and maintain common spaces, and foreclose on properties in its jurisdiction for unpaid assessments.

5. Is it mandatory to join a Utah HOA?

In Utah, if an individual buys a house in an area where an HOA already exists, they have to join and start contributing to the association. At the closing of their property purchase, the buyer should be given documentation that clarifies details about the homeowner's association and its bylaws.

If a person purchases a home in a HOA-controlled location, they are unable to leave the organization. They may only leave by selling their property or petitioning to have their house removed from the community.

Free Downloads


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!