The common areas of a Homeowner Association, or common elements, include and spots, spaces, and amenities that are available for anyone to use. All members of the association have access to these elements and areas, as it is included in the fees all homeowners pay each billing cycle. This could include the pool, parking lot, playgrounds, or walking trails, and much more. There are other common elements that are “limited” and reserved for common use for those that pay a special fee, but for that subject, please see the question below or our resource articles regarding limited common elements.
While amenities are not always a common area, a common area generally falls under the category of an amenity. As such, depending on what is declared in the association’s covenants, it may fall under the same regulations that an amenity does. Common areas can be an expensive part of a homeowners association, when considering the regular maintenance and occasional repairs that may be needed. Pools, for example, can be infamously costly. Just like a pool, common areas often require constant supervision as well.
The more common areas there are, the more there is to manage. Such is the case with pools, recreational courts and courses, and even clubhouses for some associations. As with most amenities, the board must consider the governing documents and how they refer to common areas or amenities, and specifically how detailed the language is in those regulations. They must also consider all repercussions of their actions (or inaction) when it comes to making big decisions about common areas, regarding how those decisions will effect their budget and the community at large. For more information regarding common elements, take a look at the resource articles on our blog.