Homeowner Associations are governed by a chain of governing documents and laws, which is why it's important when working with a Community Association that you understand the rules and regulations. We have outlined some of the topics that are covered in Board Orientation.
COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE refers to the documents and the laws that each board has to deal with and understand as they make decisions on behalf of the association. When we talk about the hierarchy, we talk about what trumps the other documents or laws. So when you talk about the top of the food chain, you are talking about the Federal Laws. These laws deal with FCC issues and FHA, but not specifically ADA because private communities are not subject to all the requirements of ADA.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE LAW
Then there are the STATE LAWS. Since we are in North Carolina, those are the state laws that our communities and condominiums are subject to.
The State Laws are NCGS Chapter 47A and NCGS Chapter 47C for condominiums and NCGS Chapter 47F for single family and planned unit development. Most associations are not for profit organizations, which will fall under NCGS Chapter 55A.
TOWN AND COUNTY ORDINANCES
It's important to be aware of the Town and County ordinances and make sure that your Declarations or decisions of the board are not in conflict with them. Governing documents within the community are such as the Declaration of Covenants and the articles of incorporation. Declarations don't trump the articles of incorporation. You are dealing with 2 different entities so they are in alignment with each other.
Bylaws deal with managing the affairs of the association. Rules, regulations and policies are generally established by the board of directors and communicated to the membership. Design guidelines generally go with the processes and the requirements for architectural issues, which are ARB or ARC, whether it will be new construction or modification of an existing structure.
When you are looking at information and making decisions, especially when you are talking about common areas within a condominium or community, understand that you need to be referring to RECORDED PLATS within your municipality. Whether you are in the county or the city make sure that you are making decisions for common areas as well as private or public roads. Find out if there are certain easements within the land. These Plats should always be reviewed when making decisions for the community.
For additional information on Board Orientation, contact us at CAMS. We continue to stay up to date on the latest rules and regulations that affect your community association. 877.672.2267