Condominium, townhomes and many planned developments that include single-family home neighborhoods are considered associations. This means that there are common elements to the property enjoyed by all homeowners living there. The number and type of common elements vary and can include but are not limited to entrance signs and gates, clubhouse facilities, tennis and swimming facilities, street lights, sidewalks, service utilities, insurance and many other communal assets. These common elements are owned by the community and are thus maintained by all who have common ownership interest.
A Homeowner’s Association, commonly referred to as an HOA, COA, or POA, and is a corporation registered with the state and managed by an elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to govern the affairs of the community in accordance with the provision of the governing legal documents. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the neighborhood. Associations also set out certain rules that all residents must follow called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Membership is both automatic and mandatory and conveyed with the purchase of the property.
The Board of Directors is a group of homeowners just like yourself that volunteer to participate in the day to day activities of the association. In the same way that our elected officials uphold our Constitution, the BOD upholds and enforces the community’s governing documents as their fiduciary, legal and ethical obligation.
The powers and duties of the board include: set and collect annual assessments; use and expend the assessments collected to operate, maintain, repair replace, modify, care for, manage and preserve the common areas; procure, maintain and pay premiums for insurance; contract for management of the association; amend and add to the rules and regulations governing the use of the common areas; purchase equipment; and more.
Our goal is to provide partnership for your Board of Directors and the homeowners in your community. Ultimately, we strive to protect and enhance the value of your investment. Often, our position and authority can be misunderstood. Associations are governed by their own set of documents called covenants and bylaws. The elected Board of Directors enforces these documents and they work to represent the needs of the whole community. To better understand CAMS’ role in your community, take a look at the things we handle and the things we don’t handle:
When you purchase a property in an association, you become part of a common interest development. All homeowners are required to share in the common expenses of the maintaining and operating your community’s common areas, equipment, and shared amenities.
Each year the Board of Directors for your community meets to discuss expenditures from the past years, funding the reserve or savings account, and takes in to consideration any planned projects for the coming year. Assessments are set by the Board of Directors and cover the business and finances for the Association. Each owner’s share is based on the projected annual expenses in the community. Board members are homeowners too and as such are obligated to pay assessments just like any owner. Board members are volunteers and do not profit from the business of the community.
Each community is managed by a set of governing documents referred to as articles of incorporation, bylaws, covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), rules and regulations. Since each community has specific governing documents, the budget and finances are regulated in these documents. Assessments are due annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly depending on community’s documents. Dues are always due on the first day of the billing cycle.
Most community’s assessments cover some or all the following expenses with the homeowner’s dues: ongoing maintenance, insurance policies, utility payments, reserve funds, personnel, professional management fees.
Each association’s documents can require a different set of rules. Often if there is non-payment on an owner’s account, the covenants expect a late payment fee and interest to be assessed on the account. If the account continues to go unpaid, a preparation of account fee will also be applied to the owner’s account.
Should an owner’s account go unpaid, the owner may receive up to three separate letters mailed to the mailing address on file over the course of 90 days. The first letter is a Payment Reminder, then a Second Notice and finally an Intent to Lien is mailed to the addressee. Should an owner receive an Intent Lien Notice, they are given 15 days to make arrangements for payment. The Board of Directors determines if the delinquent account should be turned over to the association’s collection attorney.
When you rent your property in an HOA, you are still responsible for paying dues and ensuring the home remains compliant with the association’s rules and regulations. Even if you make arrangements with a tenant to handle these tasks (payment of dues, landscaping, etc.), you are legally responsible if the tenant neglects them or does not complete them properly.
Yes, because CAMS may need to get in touch with your tenant from time to time, especially in emergency situation. Please keep tenant records and lease information updated here so we may best serve your needs. Update Records >
An Architectural Guideline: An architectural guideline is a rule that applies to the appearance of an owner’s lot or the exterior of his or her unit or improvements. Development of architectural guidelines should begin with a review of the governing documents to determine in what areas the board can allow a change. Usually a community association’s declaration, CC&Rs, or master deed provides for architectural changes. It is in the community’s best interests for a board to establish written architectural guidelines for two reasons: Written guidelines indicate to owners what types of changes will be allowed under normal circumstances, Written guidelines are a way to avoid claims of arbitrary or selective treatment of owners.
Articles of Incorporation: A community association’s corporate structure is established when a developer sets up the association. The developer files articles of incorporation—sometimes called a corporate charter—with the appropriate state corporation agency. The articles of incorporation bring the corporation into existence, define its basic purposes and powers.
Board of Directors: The homeowners or condominium association is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The board of directors is elected by the property owners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitation and restrictions of the powers of the board of directors is outlined in the association governing documents.
Bylaws: The bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the homeowners or condominium association. The bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the board of directors; how elections will be handled; the terms of the directors; the memberships’ voting rights; required meetings and notices of meetings; and the principal office of the association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the association as a business.
Committees: Role and Responsibilities of Committees usually a community association’s bylaws—and sometimes its declaration—will name certain committees that are required, allow for the appointment of other committees that may be required from time to time role Community association committees typically consist of owners appointed by the board of directors. The role of these committees is to assist the board in meeting its responsibilities, broaden the community’s input on decisions by serving as a means of gathering owners’ opinions and attitudes, training ground for future leaders, means of explaining board actions to the community, perform research and prepare recommendations for the board. The number and type of committees will depend on the size of the community and the complexity of its activities. The more activities a community is involved in, the more a board may need additional groups to collect information, develop recommendations, and carry out activities.
Common Area: A common area is designated on the recorded plat of the community as land and community assets that are not sold to an individual owner. In a planned community, the common areas are owned by the association, whereas in a condominium association the common areas are owned by all owners in undivided interest. You will also see the term “limited common areas.” A limited common area is common area that is for the exclusive use of fewer than all the owners of an association.
Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R): The declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R or DCCR) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community or condominium. The CC&R was recorded by the original developer in the county in which the property is located and is included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&R may result in a fine to a property owner by the association.
Courtesy Letter and Violations: From time to time a rule or covenant may be violated in an association. This violation is either spotted during a routine community inspection or reported by another homeowner. A Courtesy Letter is always issued on the first occurrence of any violation. This is an attempt to discover possible reasons for the violation, as well as request that the homeowner address the violation in a reasonable amount of time. If the infraction is not addressed, a second violation letter will be sent to the property owner. If no response is made and the infraction still exists, a hearing may be set with the Board of Directors. Additionally, the Board of Directors may impose fines until the matter has been resolved.
Declarant: The development company and its successors and assigns.
Fee Simple: In real estate, this is when the buyer acquires entire ownership of the property including the land and the building in full.
Governing Documents: The purpose of a community association’s governing documents is to provide for the legal structure and operation of the community. The documents define the rights and obligations of both the community association and its owners, create a binding relationship between each owner and the community association, establish the mechanisms for governing and funding the community association’s operations, set forth rules and standards for the protection of both owners and the community, enhancement of property values and promotion of harmonious living.
Homeowner and Condo Associations: It is a corporation registered with the state and managed by a duly elected board of directors. Most associations are registered as nonprofit corporations. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the governing legal documents: declarations or covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R), bylaws and articles of incorporation. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowners or condominium association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.
Management Company: A professional management company is contracted by the board of directors to properly maintain the common areas and conduct the business affairs of the association. A management company provides services such as: collection of assessments; overseeing of subcontractors; obtaining bids for subcontracted services; providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as serving a general clearinghouse for problem solving; communicating with property owners and the board of directors; and serving in an adviser capacity. The management company reports directly to the board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the board of directors. (Please note that services provided by a management company will depend on the individual agreements between a community association management company and the client association.)
Rules: A rule is a specific statement of required behavior whose violation carries a penalty. In a community association, rules and guidelines outline expected behavior, identify limitations, and govern the community in three areas. These areas include:
Most Neighbors maintain that the biggest benefit of their association is preserving the value and integrity of their individual investment. learn more >
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