What is the Difference Between an HOA and Condo Association?

Jan 31 2020

HOA AttorneyAccording to data provided by the Homeowners Protection Bureau (HOPB), nearly one in four Americans currently lives in a condo association, a homeowners’ association, or another type of private community.  While these types of communities have become more common, there is often confusion over the differences between condos and HOAs.  While these terms are sometimes (incorrectly) used interchangeably, there are some important differences.

The Key Difference Between a Condo and an HOA: The Scope of Ownership

The key difference between a condo association and a homeowners’ association is what the individual members actually own.

With a condo, each member owns their individual unit and they have a joint ownership interest in the common areas.  As an example, a condo owner has a joint ownership stake in the lobby of the building.  All condo owners are members of their community’s association and they share ownership stake in what that association owns.

The scope of ownership is a bit different with homeowners’ associations.  With an HOA, each member owns their individual property and their lot.  However, common areas are owned by the homeowners’ association itself—meaning there is no joint ownership interest in the common areas.   The HOA may be a wholly independent entity or it may be owned by the developer of the community.

Speak to Our HOA and Condo Law Attorneys Today

At Keough & Moody, P.C., our Illinois community association lawyers have extensive experience representing condos and HOAs.  To arrange a fully private consultation, please contact our legal team today.  With office locations in Chicago, Naperville and Tinley Park, we serve clients throughout the region.