An Easy Introduction to Community Associations
The Community Association is established for the purpose of maintaining the common areas, recreation facilities and, in some cases, the exterior maintenance of each home. This "Purpose" or "Charter" is intended for the general use, benefit and welfare of the owners. The primary goal should be the enhancement of the community’s property values.
While it is the Community Association's responsibility to manage and provide maintenance services for the community, it is important to remember it is a business and must be run like a business. It is imperative that the Association does not become a forum where every small problem is aired. The Association's primary concern is with matters related to the common elements and exterior maintenance.
As members of the Board, your first task should be to become familiar with your documents. Your documents should be considered your basic guide for running the business called the Association. These documents provide the Board with a list of powers and authority, establish protective standards, restrictions and rules, and serve as general guidelines for the operation of the Association Management.
The following is a brief summary explaining your documents in the order of authority:
Articles of Incorporation
The Articles of Incorporation generally state the purpose of the Association. They serve to establish the Association as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation, with the purpose of providing community services and facilities for the general use, benefit and welfare of the homeowners.
Declarations of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R’s)
The CC&R's define the restrictions, duties and powers of the Association and will be referred to frequently in the day-to-day operations of the Association. Their intent is to enhance, preserve and protect the value, desirability and attractiveness of the entire community for the benefit of all the homeowners. The CC&R's provide provisions for the creation and collection of assessments, duties and powers of the Association, architectural control, repair and maintenance of the common elements, insurance requirements, easements, rights of lenders and enforcement of provisions.
The By-Laws apply to the day-to-day management of the Association and the functions of the Board. The By-Laws contain provisions regarding rule-making powers, responsibilities of the Board of Directors, election procedures, meetings and membership.
There will be one term you will hear over and over again in reference to your role as a member of the Board. The term is fiduciary duty. Each Board Member has a duty to act as follows:
=> In good faith
=> With undivided loyalty
=> With reasonable care and diligence
=> With no conflict of interest
=> In good judgment and with discretion
Generally, the Association's committees and manager act to carry out the decisions and policies of the Board. A professional manager will also provide advice and counsel to assist the Board in fulfilling its fiduciary duties. Additionally, committees can be valuable in researching and gathering information regarding specific issues related to the operation of the Association.
FelixShelsher - About Author:
The time you spend working for your Association Management is in some sense also time you spend on improving your life. For more information please visit our hoamanagement.com website.
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