The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act ("POAA") was enacted on July 1, 1994 to empower homeowners’ associations (HOAs) in Georgia with similar rights as Georgia’s condominium associations. Although not as expansive, many essential provisions of the POAA mirror provisions of the Georgia Condominium Act. However, while the Georgia Condominium Act applies to all condominiums in Georgia, HOA submission to the POAA is optional.
There are many great advantages for HOAs to submit to the POAA. The biggest advantage may be that under Georgia case law, unless a community’s governing declaration is subject to the Georgia Condominium Act or POAA, the only way to change or add new use restrictions (including leasing restrictions) to the declaration is with each owner’s written consent, rather than with the typical 2/3rds or 75% approval of the owners. The rise in short-term leasing through Airbnb, Vrbo and other like sites and a desire by many HOAs to prevent short-term and other leasing may be the reason that pushes many Georgia HOAs to finally submit to the POAA.
How Do HOAs Submit to the POAA?
For HOAs, if the community’s developer did not submit the HOA to the POAA, the only way for the community to take advantage of the POAA is to amend the governing declaration to affirmatively submit to the POAA.