Starting An Association

What is An HOA?

The designation “HOA” is often used to represent two similar types of associations,  homeowners’ associations and neighborhood associations.  However, these two forms of associations can be distinguished as follows:

  • Homeowners’ Association – A combined membership of homeowners within a subdivision
  • Neighborhood Association – A combined membership of residents (home renters, apartment renters, homeowners, etc.) within a specified area.
Associations can be further identified as mandatory and voluntary. Some DeSoto associations are voluntary, but most are mandatory, and membership is open to all residents within the boundaries of the neighborhood. This is beneficial to our City because it provides a means for individuals to organize and strengthen the neighborhood. 

what are the benefits of an HOA?

  • Increased Community Engagement - These studies indicate that HOAs can facilitate increased social interaction and community involvement, leading to a stronger sense of community and a higher quality of life for residents.
  • Well-Maintained Common Areas and Amenities - HOAs typically do an outstanding job maintaining their common areas and amenities. This includes manicured and over-seeded common area lawns, freshly painted walls, lighting that works and clean play areas, etc.
  • Increased Community Pride - Community activities and events help bring neighbors together, which increases the pride of ownership and HOA membership within the community. 
  • Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity - Each resident who owns a home in the community is held to the same set of standards for the upkeep of their home's exterior, as well as the adherence to noise policies, parking restrictions, short-term rental guidelines, etc.
  • Access to Amenities - Many communities feature walking trails, sports courts, swimming pools, barbecue pits, and neighborhood parks that are available for resident use. 
  • Helping Maintain Property Values - Since residents are held accountable to deed restrictions, homes and common areas are consistently taken care of and well-maintained. 

HOA facts

  • HOAs are typically managed by a board that is elected by its members, however, a Property Management Company may be hired by the Board for day-to-day operations.
  • HOAs are governed by covenants or deed restrictions created and filed by the HOA or by the subdivision developer. 
  • Membership dues are usually set at the time the covenants or deed restrictions are created.
  • Dues requirements and amounts remain at the discretion of the HOA.


Most homeowners’ associations or neighborhood groups begin due to neighbors coming together to accomplish a common goal or solving a community problem. Residents have to be shown there is an advantage to forming an association. Some advantages are:

Meet neighbors
A collective voice with neighbors
Keep abreast of news that directly affects the neighborhood
Neighborhood Beautification
Increased awareness of safety/Crime Watch Programs
Partnership with the City on issues facing the neighborhood
Organizing block parties and other special events
Community Spirit
Tackle neighborhood projects together
Take advantage of the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program

An association may start out informally with just a few neighbors. One or more informal meetings might be held to see if there is a real interest or need for an association. Once this need has been determined there are some essential steps to getting the association started.  For more information on starting a non-mandatory Neighborhood Association, please call the Community Relations Coordinator at 972-230-9648 or email