Homeowner associations in New Mexico: A primer

The creation and operation requirements for HOAs are generally governed by state law.

A homeowner association (HOA) can manage a variety of issues. It can regulate shared amenities like a neighborhood pool or tennis court as well as more personal matters like the types of pets allowed and landscaping expectations.

The HOA generally outlines its regulations in the homeowner association's covenants, codes and restrictions. These associations also have the ability to charge assessments and levy fines against association members.

The development of a homeowner association

Developers often form an HOA when constructing a new community. Purchase of property within this community comes with automatic membership into the HOA.

A number of criteria are required to establish an HOA. This includes the development of covenants, conditions and restrictions, articles of incorporation and bylaws. The HOA must also meet a number of requirements to continue operation. For example, these associations are required to have an annual meeting. Homeowners must have at least ten days' notice, but not more than sixty days' notice, of the meeting. These notices can be hand delivered, mailed or sent electronically if the homeowner has given permission for electronic delivery. The notice must include the time, date and place of the meeting as well as the agenda.

State laws govern homeowner associations

Homeowner associations are generally the subject of state law. New Mexico homeowner associations are governed by the New Mexico Homeowner Association Act. This law went into effect in July of 2013. It requires homeowners associations file a notice of the association with the county clerk. The notice must include information like the name and address of the association as well as recording information. In an effort to increase the transparency of the operations of these associations, the law made the following changes:

  • Record requests. If requested, the association must provide copies of financial and other records to an association member within 10 business days of the request.
  • Fiduciary duty. The law also states the homeowner association board members have a fiduciary duty to the association members. This is true whether the board member was elected or appointed.
  • Audits. Larger homeowner association communities must conduct an annual financial audit or review. The law defines a "larger" community as one with over 100 lots.

The changes that went into effect in 2013 provide an example of the evolving nature of the law surrounding homeowner associations. Democratic Senator Mimi Stewart has introduced multiple pieces of legislation to further change this law. The proposals often address matters like conflict of interest and alternative dispute resolution options to resolve conflicts between homeowners and the association. These proposals could become law, further changing the requirements needed to operate an HOA in New Mexico.

  • NMLTA
  • Member of Community Associations Institute