Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Home Owners Associations

John Howe

Home Owners Associations

Nearly every new subdivision has a Homeowners Association with elected officers and interestingly enough, dues.

The common question is “why dues?”  In most subdivisions there is what is called “Common Area”, which consists of land not owned by individual homeowners and for the use and benefit of the entire subdivision. This property must be maintained, in some cases, after all of the homes have been built, street lighting maintenance is a cost to the subdivision, as well as snow removal landscaping and mowing.  The officers of the board of the subdivision need insurance coverage against any law suits for their serving on the Board. That is called Directors and Officers Insurance a/k/a D&O Insurance. These are just a few of the costs that need to be covered by the dues. Generally each year the costs are reviewed and the dues are adjusted at that time if needed. The duties and operations of the board are generally addressed in the Indentures.

In most cases when a subdivision plat is recorded in the recorders, office of the appropriate county, a document sometimes referred to as the “Indentures” or the “Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions” (CCR’s) is also recorded for that subdivision. This document spells out the rules and regulations of the subdivision so homeowners know what they can or cannot do with their property. The popular sentiment “I can do anything I want, it is my property” is not entirely true these cases, however there is seldom any restriction that gives any owner too much problems.

This Indenture or CCR’s generally refer to, as examples, the homeowners ability to put up a fence, the size and what material to be used, the homeowners ability to put an addition on their home, (location, size, materials they can use, etc.). Some Indentures will restrict what kind of vehicle can be parked at a home, e.g., campers, commercial vehicles and the like. It is a good idea to obtain a copy of that document prior to closing. It can be acquired from the County Recorders Office, or your title company can likely get one for you.  I might also suggest a Realtor obtain a copy at listing so they will have this document handy for potential buyers to review.

So, when you see Subdivision Dues on a closing statement, you will understand what the fee represents. Benchmark Title Company or your lender obtains that information from the Board of Trustees of that subdivision. Also, in the event the dues are not paid current for that property, the subdivision can file a lien against the property. Many times Boards do not record these liens at the Recorders Office. As your title company it is our job to protect you against these potential liens.

Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:  

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Vice President and General Counsel

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

Bethany Bond
Marketing Director

Serving you from three convenient locations:

Main Office:
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221
Ph: 618-239-3750
Escrow Fax: 618-239-3707
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President: John Howe

318 North Main St.
Columbia, IL 62236
Ph: 618-281-9700
Fax: 618-281-9705
Manager: Randi Schur

4215 S. State Rte 159
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Ph: 618-288-1695
Fax: 618-288-1852
Manager: Sara Sowell

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