FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE ASSOCIATION?
The Association is a corporate entity that is organized under state law. There may be some instances of an association not being organized as a legal corporate entity, but this is the exception. As a corporate entity, the Association corporate entity is governed by its By-Laws.
WHO CONTROLS THE ASSOCIATION?
New developments are controlled by the developer. Initially, the board of directors is comprised of developer representatives. After a certain percentage of the development has been sold to homeowners, the control of the association is transferred to a board of directors comprised of homeowners.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ASSOCIATION?
The purpose of the Association is to protect and enhance property values through:
- Maintenance and improvement of the common areas
- Enforcement of deed restrictions and community rules
WHO ARE THE ASSOCIATION MEMBERS?
Property owners in the development are subject to mandatory membership in the Association. There are some associations that are “voluntary”, but most associations require mandatory membership. In other words, once you purchase a property you are an association member.
Property owners are sent written notice of the annual meeting. The Board of Directors are elected at the annual meeting by the Association members. The Board members serve the Association without pay.
After the annual meeting, the Board of Directors convenes its first meeting at which the officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) are elected. Throughout the year, the Board of Directors holds periodic meetings which property owners may attend.
The Board enters into contracts with various service vendors to manage and operate the facilities of the Association, as well as assist in the overall management of the Association. It is common for the board to hire a professional property manager, a landscaping company, a pool maintenance company, an extermination company, etc. to provide routine management and maintenance services.
WHAT DO ASSESSMENTS PAY FOR?
The periodic assessment pays for the various service contracts, insurance coverage, property taxes, and other administrative costs of operating the association.
WHAT IF I DON'T PAY THE ASSESSMENT?
The responsibility to pay the periodic assessment lies with the property owner. You should receive a bill or a coupon book to remind you to pay your assessment, but the ultimate responsibility to pay the assessment falls with the property owner. Property owners that don’t pay are subject to enforcement action which includes the filing of a lien and, ultimately, foreclosure.
CAN I MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO MY PROPERTY?
Property improvements must first receive approval as set forth in the development’s restrictions and governing documents. Most associations have an architectural control committee that reviews such requests. In the absence of such a committee, the Board of Directors may be the reviewer. It is best to contact the property manager and ascertain how to obtain approval to make improvements. Keep in mind that approval should be obtained prior to beginning any work.
PROPERTY APPEARANCE IN NEIGHBORHOODS
An important element to preserving and enhancing the values of the properties in the development is the appearance of each individual property. If you live in a neighborhood, your property should be maintained with periodic painting and fence maintenance. The yard area should be manicured and free of rubbish or debris. Trailers, boats, RV’s, barbecue grills, work/construction equipment, etc. should not be stored on the property such that they are visible from the street or adjoining properties.
TRASH CANS IN NEIGHBORHOODS
Trash cans must be stored out-of-view from the street during non-trash pickup days.