When you become a member of a homeowners association, you receive a copy of the governing documents. By living in the HOA, you also agree to abide by them, so it's important to read them and understand what they say. However, these documents often use a lot of jargon and can be difficult to understand. Here's a snapshot of the purpose of the Bylaws in an association.
If you’re a new Board Member for your homeowners association, or you’re considering whether or not to become one, it’s important to understand how an HOA is governed, and who the Board is accountable to. A well-governed HOA will not only know what entity has the governing authority over another, but will also listen to feedback from the residents in the association when it comes to how the association is being run.
As a member of your homeowners association, when you bought a home in your community, you should have received copies of all the Association's governing documents—including the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&RS) and Rules & Regulations—prior to or at the closing of escrow. The CC&Rs explain what the homeowners association is responsible for and what the homeowner is responsible for.
There's often a lot of talk about the governing documents of a homeowners association, but what are they, why are they important, and what do they say?
We’ve all heard the term “read the small print before signing on the dotted line” but how often do we really do this? An HOA board will be considering and entering into contracts on a regular basis and it’s not uncommon for otherwise cautious people to become jaded by the terms and conditions and just quickly glance over the documents.
Have you lost your copy of the Association bylaws? Would you like to read minutes from past board meetings? Would you like to read a resolution for background information on a homeowners association policy?
Are you reviewing and updating your homeowner’s association’s strategic plan?
A strategic plan outlines priorities and projects for the immediate future and for years to come. It can accommodate revisions as changing circumstances dictate—without conflicting with the vision behind its creation. It also helps determine what the year’s budget will include and suggests what future ones might feature.
As an HOA board member, you should know what homeowners association documents your members are entitled to review. Association members are welcome to read official association documents. There’s nothing secret about the business of the association. In fact, you should already have copies of key documents like the bylaws or rules readily available.
Do you remember receiving the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) when you moved into the Association? Do you know that they are very important to you as the homeowner? Have you taken a look at these documents lately? If not, now is a great time to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of your community. There is no time like the present to make sure you are in compliance.
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) explain what the homeowners association is responsible for and what the homeowner is responsible for. They also outline how the Association lives together and operates. The CC&Rs are the highest level of documents in the Association, only overruled by the law; not to be confused with the Bylaws, which dictate how the HOA operates as an organization, or the HOA rules which the board has the authority to change.