Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION:  What is the role of a Management Company and what do they do?

ANSWER:  A Management Company is a business that has knowledge within common interest developments and handles issues on behalf of a board of directors.  They are hired by the board of directors to give direction and guidance on issues such as reserves, maintenance, insurance, budgets, governance, contracts, the law, and rules of enforcement.  They will provide administrative, operational and managerial counsel to the board of directors.  They can also be given the responsibility for managing budgets, contractors, directing personnel, and overseeing compliance with covenants and restrictions. 

QUESTION: What is the role of the Board of Directors and what do they do?

ANSWER: The Board of Directors is an elected governing body of the association. Their duties and responsibilities are outlined in the Bylaws of the association.  They have the duty to enhance, maintain, and protect the property values of the Association. The Board of Directors usually organizes one or more committees to aid in their decision making, such as Architectural and Election Committees.  In order for business to be conducted, a quorum is required to hold a board meeting and is conducted with the Roberts Rules of Order.

QUESTION: Who determines the amount of Assessments and what do they pay for?

The Board of Directors will create a budget that will determine the amount of money needed to fulfill the obligations of the association.  It is divided into two parts, Operating & Reserves.  The operating budget includes all routine expenses such as utilities, landscaping, etc. and the reserve budget calculates future (long term component) replacements such as exterior painting, re-roofing, re-paving, etc. The individual assessment amount is then determined by dividing the total monthly budget (operating & reserve) by number of lots/units within the Association.

QUESTION: What will happen if I don't pay my assessment?

Most Association’s have an established Assessment Collection Policy derived from the Association’s governing documents (CC&R’s).  The collection policy will provide clear & comprehensive information and procedures relating to delinquent accounts.

Most Governing Documents or Collection Policies will declare that if a monthly assessment is 30 days past due the owner will be subject to a lien notice, late fees and interest.  The delinquent owner will receive a Pay or Lien Letter before a Lien is filed.  Thirty days after a Pay or Lien Letter is sent the Association can file a Notice of Assessment Lien which records the lien.  The delinquent owner has another 30 days before the Association’s Attorney can file a Notice of Default and Election to Sell.  If the delinquency is not cured, the property will fall into foreclosure with this filing and the procedures of a Notice of Trustee’s Sale .

QUESTION: What are the governing documents?

Governing Documents give the Board of Directors authority and direction to govern the association. They consist of:

  • State Statutes
    Corporation and Civil Codes are legislated statutes that take precedence over all other legal documents and have the highest authority.
  • Articles of Incorporation
    Provides the legal basis for operating within Corporation Codes.
  • CC&Rs
    Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions deal with the physical entities that comprise the association, i.e., use restrictions, easements, and annexation.
  • By-Laws
    Outlines how the association shall be governed and deals with the association as a corporation, i.e., elections, assessment collections, terms of office and duties of officers.
  • Rules and Regulations
    The Board of Directors adopts Rules and Regulations within the guidelines of the CC&Rs.  They give direction to the homeowners for common courtesies in regards to parking, vehicles, pets, architectural guidelines, pool use, etc.

QUESTION: What are Architectural Guidelines and what do they do?

ANSWER:  Architectural Guidelines are established procedures requiring certain compliances before an owner may modify the exterior of a home or building within an Association.  Guideline modifications may include items such as, patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior building colors and additions. These guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners to protect their investment.  Violations may result in an imposition of fines and/or correctional procedures mandated by the Board.

QUESTION: How can I be heard at a Board of Directors meeting?

ANSWER:  Board meetings are open to the public.  During each board meeting owners will have an opportunity to speak and be heard during the “Open Forum” portion of the meeting.  If you would like an action to be considered by the Board for a decision, you should submit your request in writing to the board/management company before the next meeting so that it will be placed on a future agenda.

QUESTION: What are the most common violations in community associations?

ANSWER: Some of the most common violations are:

  • Failure to be current in Association dues and/or assessments.
  • Disturbing the peace.
  • Failure to maintain attractive landscape (weeding, fertilizing, trimming)
  • Making exterior improvement WITHOUT prior written approval of the Architectural Committee and/or in violation of governing documents (antennas, fencing, trees, etc.).
  • Parking (not utilizing garage or designated space for parking, abuse of guest parking spaces, RV parking).
  • Violations involving pets (clean-up, leashed, noise, waste)
  • Driveway oil stains.

Disclaimer: The information displayed is in no way to be construed as legal advice. Any legal concerns regarding homeowner associations should be addressed to an attorney who specializes in homeowner association law.

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