What is a Community Association?
Three features make community association homes different from traditional forms of homeownership.
1) You share ownership of common land and have access to facilities such as swimming pools that often are not affordable any other way.
2) You automatically become a member of a community association and typically must abide by covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
3) You will pay an “assessment” (a regular fee, often monthly, that is used for the upkeep of the common areas and other services and amenities).
There are many advantages to living in this kind of development. The community usually features attractive combinations of well-designed homes and landscaped open spaces. The houses may even cost less than traditional housing due to more efficient use of land. Parks, pools and other amenities, often too expensive for you to own alone, can be yours through shared ownership. So now you have a chance to own and enjoy the pool, tennis court, or other recreational facilities that may have been unaffordable previously. What’s more, you won’t have direct responsibility for maintenance, so you won’t have to clean the pool, fix the tennis nets, and you may not even have to mow your lawn. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never have to think about it.
The community association operates and maintains these shared facilities. Of course, you’ll pay your share of the expenses and, as an association member, you’ll have a voice in the association’s decisions.
What are the Bylaws?
The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership’s 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.
The Bylaws for your association may be viewed online — Access your account here.
What is the Board of Directors?
The Condominium Association or Homeowner Association again is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, 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.
Are there any other rules?
Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the Policy Resolutions and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets, and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions.
These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change without written approval of the Board of Directors or Architectural Committee you may be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
What is the cost of the management services?
The cost of management services is based on the level of service that the Board of Directors wants and contracts for. The cost will be based on size of community, services rendered, number of meetings, etc. The management fee is negotiated between Hunt Management and the Board of Directors.
What do we pay you for?
A management company is paid for the experience, knowledge, and understanding of the inner workings of a homeowner association. Also for providing critical resources to associations that promote the preservation of the property and the hassel-free lifestyle of the homeowners. On a day-to-day basis the management company is responsible to maintain the on-going administration of the operations of the property owned by the association and provide financial and administrative services.
What do our dues pay for?
Your association dues (sometimes referred to as “assessments” or “fees”) are based on an annual operating budget for the association and set by the Board of Directors based on that budget. The fees cover the annual operating expenses as well as long-range expenses. The operating budget includes items such as lawn care, snow removal, insurance, taxes, utilities, management fees, maintenance and much more.
What is the role of the Board of Directors as it relates to a management company?
The role of the Board of Directors is dictated in your governing documents. The officers have specific responsibilities as the president, treasurer and secretary specifically. With respect to the management company, the Board of Directors interacts with the association manager on a regular basis; presides over all meetings; and most importantly retains decision-making control.
What are the benefits of our online technology?
Our online technology, powered by SenEarthCo®, is an option that can dramatically improve association management. Information is available with the click of a mouse, day or night. You can look up property regulations, view financials, see archived minutes and newsletters, and much more.