In the United States, a homeowner association is a private association often formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision. Typically the developer will transfer control of
the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots. Generally any person who wants to buy a residence within the area of a homeowners association must become a member, and therefore must obey the governing documents including Articles of Incorporation, CC&Rs and By-Laws, which may limit the owner's choices. Homeowner associations are especially active in urban planning, zoning and land use, decisions that affect the pace of growth, the quality of life, the level of taxation and the value of land in the community. Most homeowner associations are incorporated, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations. State oversight of homeowner associations is minimal, and it varies from state to state. Some states, such as Florida and California, have a large body of HOA law. Other states, such as Massachusetts, have virtually no HOA law. Homeowners associations are commonly found in residential developments since the passage of the Davis–Stirling Common Interest Development Act in 1985.