Missouri HOA Laws

Missouri HOA Laws

Last Updated: June 15, 2023 by Corrin Swintosky

Many planned communities are managed by a homeowners association (HOA) in Missouri. The laws governing HOAs in Missouri are established by various local and federal regulations, in addition to each individual HOA’s governing documents.

Who Regulates HOAs in Missouri?

There is no state provision governing HOAs in Missouri. Usually, HOAs are organized as nonprofits and must follow the Missouri Nonprofit Corporation Law found in Title XXIII Chapter 355 of the Missouri Statutes. This statute governs any business for the purpose of homeowner and community improvement association.

Otherwise, governing documents regulate an HOA. Although every HOA is different, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations.

HOAs in Missouri may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Regulations in Missouri

HOA governing documents are not public records in Missouri. Only members or beneficiaries of the HOA can view bylaws, financial records, and other governing documents.

All documents required by the Missouri Secretary of State can be found by anyone online using the Business Search option. Filings can be downloaded and viewed free of charge.

HOA Powers in Missouri

In Missouri, HOAs have the power to:

  • Collect payments for common expenses
  • Collect charges to maintain and operate the common areas
  • Levy reasonable fines

Furthermore, HOA governing documents can grant additional powers such as restrictions on exterior paint colors, fencing, membership, and parking requirements

Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Missouri?

In Missouri, an HOA can impose fines on a homeowner. There is no state provision on the type of fine or amount. These processes can be found in the HOA’s governing documents.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) any of the following:

  • Displaying the American flag so long as it is consistent with federal law
  • Displaying political signs
  • Installing solar panels
  • Installing satellite dishes and antennas

The governing documents of an HOA may include reasonable rules and regulations about the placement, manner, and display of any of the items above.

Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Missouri?

In Missouri, there is no provision in the state statutes that conveys if an HOA can take a homeowner’s house. The governing documents will note if an HOA is allowed to take a homeowner’s house and steps for action.

However, Missouri has a statute that governs condos which may be regulated by HOAs. Condos can take a homeowner’s house in Missouri. This process would include an HOA levying a lien on the property for unpaid fines. The lien would then be foreclosed upon if it was not paid off in a certain amount of time after proper notice.

There is no state provision regarding evicting homeowners or tenants. However, condos run by HOAs can evict tenants for unpaid assessments and fees by the homeowner.

Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Missouri?

There is no state statute in Michigan that controls HOAs entering a homeowner’s property. Clauses of if, when, and how an HOA can enter a homeowner’s house will be listed in its governing documents.

Typically, an HOA may be able to enter a homeowner’s property in case of emergency, maintenance, or violation of any rules or regulations.

Except in the case of an emergency, reasonable notice should be provided to the homeowner before an HOA is to enter the homeowner’s property. A reasonable timeline can range depending on the reason for entry between three days and a couple of weeks.

Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Missouri?

Where to file a complaint against an HOA in Missouri depends on the type of complaint.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state, western federal, or eastern federal court within one year of the violation date.

For complaints of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, or file a private lawsuit in Missouri state, western federal, or eastern federal court.

Alternatively, a homeowner with any other complaints can bring a claim in state court in the appropriate county.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in Missouri

In Missouri, there are no state regulations on joining or leaving an HOA. These processes are determined by the HOA’s governing documents. Documents explaining the HOA and its membership rules should be presented at the closing for a new owner’s home purchase.

Generally, there are two types of HOAs that regulate joining and leaving clauses:

  • Mandatory HOAs. When a person buys a home, they automatically become a member required to abide by any HOA rules listed in the governing documents. This usually includes that a homeowner is not able to leave the HOA freely.
  • Voluntary HOAs. When a person buys a home, membership is a choice for each homeowner. If they choose to become a member, they may leave at any time by stopping their payments with the HOA.

To leave a mandatory HOA, a homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the court to have their home removed. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in Missouri

The process for dissolution of an HOA in Missouri may be outlined in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, members of the HOA must cast a vote of at least ⅔ in favor of dissolution.

If HOA members vote for dissolution, a plan for dissolution must be drafted to distribute assets and debts. After the plan for dissolution has been carried out by the HOA, an Articles of Dissolution must be filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. The HOA is considered dissolved upon filing.