What if HOA living seemed a lot less complicated?

Browse our easy-to-understand community association management resources, written by experts just for you.

Chapter 1: Governance

Meeting Guidelines

Tips for Boards

HOA Resolutions

Chapter 2: Legal Considerations

Improve Meetings

Parking Rules

Chapter 3: Budgets and Financials

HOA Managers

Budget Management

Chapter 4. Collections

What Is Quorum?

Developer to HOA

Chapter 5: CCR's Enforcement

Making Exceptions

HOA & Social Media

Basics of Association Living

Many people do not understand what they're becoming part of when purchasing property that is governed by an Association. The disclosure statement signed by homebuyers when they contract to purchase a home within an Association informs them that the Association exists and gives them some basic information regarding such. However, those disclosures do not go into detail regarding the responsibilities and obligations that go along with owning property in an Association. There are some basic things both homebuyers and homeowners should know when purchasing and living in a community or condominium with an association.
- Maintain common elements of the community - Ensure compliance with governing documents - Conduct the business of the association These goals are achieved by administering, maintaining and enhancing a real estate development through the establishment of a system of property rights, binding covenants and restrictions, and rules and regulations. A community association combines the characteristics and activities of a local government, a business, and a community.
Congratulations, you’ve just been elected to serve as an officer within your HOA Board! Volunteering to serve your time in the community where you live can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. When accepting an officer position, it’s important to know that you are taking on a lot of responsibility, which can be extremely fulfilling to serve your community. Use Your HOA as your guide to break down the various roles and duties of each officer within the Board. The duties of each officer depends on the person’s title. What brings them all together is their obligation to make decisions and actions in good faith for the best interest of the community. Here is an overview of the different responsibilities for each HOA officer. For specific information about your HOA’s officer requirements and powers, see your Associations by-laws.
The association President serves as the CEO of the community, taking on very similar responsibilities and powers. Most of the time, HOA Presidents are expected to be preside at all Board meetings and execute orders, contracts, and documents in the name of the association. The President is also in charge of the association’s day-to-day administration and makes sure all duties are carried out. The President is the spokesman for the Board in most matters. They can also be removed at any time with or without cause from the officers by majority vote.
If the HOA President must be absent for any reason, the Vice President is tasked with taking on all powers assigned to the President. The Vice President only possesses these powers in the absence of the President.
The Secretary’s responsibilities include keeping and maintaining all Board meeting records, membership records, and official HOA records. It’s important to note that the Secretary is more than a clerk for the association; they also file corporate annual reports and act as custodian of the records. Legal documents executed on behalf of the HOA often need the President’s signature and to be attested by the Secretary.
The Treasurer’s duties include acting as the HOA’s custodian of securities, funds, and financial records. All reports and financial records are the responsibility of the Treasurer. They also coordinate how the proposed annual budget will be developed and preparation of the annual financial report on the HOA’s financial status. They cannot bind the HOA or directors in deals with third parties unless given authority. Preparation of monthly financial reports and many financial transactions, such as collecting assessments and paying the association's expenses, are often assigned to a professional management company; however, the Treasurer and Board retain the responsibility.
Board members are elected by the membership within an association and this typically occurs at the annual membership meeting. Board member term lengths are determined by the association's bylaws and usually run anywhere from one to three years and may be re-elected if the bylaws allow. The main goals of the Board of Directors are to: - Maintain common elements of the community - Ensure compliance with governing documents - Conduct the business of the association
While property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their individual property, the Association's Board of Directors is responsible for the maintenance of common areas such as private streets, entrance signage and amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, playground or fitness center. Common areas are maintained by developing and enforcing rules for use of the amenities, repairing and re-paving streets, entering into a contract with a landscaping company to mow grass and addressing other issues as they arise.
Ensuring compliance with governing documents is another component of successful association management. Board members have an obligation to be familiar with not only their association's governing documents but also with local, state and federal statutes as they pertain to association management and community governance. The requirements held within an association's governing documents should always be clearly communicated to the association's members. Some tips for ensuring that communication is handled appropriately are: - Inform new residents of the existence of governing documents - personally meet with them to verify they have received copies of the documents and answer any questions they may have - Encourage owner participation in a compliance committee so the Board doesn't have to shoulder the entire responsibility - Use due process when rules are violated by implementing a Compliance Policy and Process: - Courtesy Notice - 1st Notice - 2nd Notice - Hearing - Fine
Yet another function of the Board is managing the Association's finances. Financial Management includes collecting assessments, paying the Association's expenses and a myriad of other possible tasks. Those who are tasked with managing the Association's finances may be responsible for some or all of the following: - Banking - Financial Planning - Disclosing financial information to Association members - Establishing financial policies - Record Keeping - Budgeting
Your primary role should be to protect and enhance the value of your community. As directors and officers of a non-profit corporation, you have a legal fiduciary duty. Your actions and liability as a board member are generally protected by governing documents or state statutes governing non-profit corporations based on duty of care, duty of loyalty, and acting in good faith. The board should also be protected with directors and officer’s insurance. The Board should adopt and adhere to a written Code of Conduct. The board must comply with federal, state, and local laws and ensure that the association’s governing documents are followed in a fair and consistent manner. Board members have no individual authority separate of the board and should not make any commitments on behalf of the board. Sensitive communications with other board members should be done by phone since email may be introduced by discovery in the event of a lawsuit. Know the basics of parliamentary procedure; participate with etiquette and support the chair. The board president does vote on motions unless there is a conflict of interest. In at least one state, Florida, the president must vote and is considered to have voted in the affirmative unless he or she votes against the motion or specifically abstains. Communication with members is key. Do not govern in secrecy except when executive sessions are required. Treat residents with the same respect that you would expect. Provide residents with an opportunity to address the board. This is usually done in a resident’s forum at the beginning of some or all board meetings. The board should not become ‘condo commandos’ by overly aggressive enforcement or fining practices. There are first time infractions that usually result from a resident’s lack of knowledge and misunderstanding. There are minor issues, major issues and safety issues. There are repeat offenders. There are the few that have obvious issues of noncompliance, challenge the authority of the board, and stir up disharmony in the community. The challenge for the board is finding the right governing balance that includes objectivity, fairness, consistency, diplomacy, tolerance and measured response. Always work to recruit new volunteers that have the time and skills to serve on the board and on committees. The board should also have an orientation or training plan in place for new members.
Much like hiring a professional contractor for household maintenance items, a professional management company is an integral part of ensuring that your Association is in good working order. There are several key components of any Association that can be made better by hiring the right management company. The management company assists in: - Financial planning and accounting - Common area maintenance - Project management and governing document compliance Just to name a few, and they have connections with area specialists to make sure your Association receives the top-notch service it deserves. Here are some of the service obligations a professional management company will have to your Association.
- Lead preparation of annual budget - Send annual letter to membership with budget - Prepare, review, and analyze monthly financial reports - Ensure maintenance and availability of accurate accounting records - Collect assessments and fees as appropriate - Coordinate the collections process for past due assessments and fees, including: - Sending reminders - Sending notices - Implementing lien process as necessary - Coordinate approval process and payment of all expenses - Coordinating board involvement in the approval process as appropriate - Track purchases - Handle all correspondence regarding financial transactions - Provide records to assist in the preparation of annual state and federal tax returns - Coordinate filing of all legally required financial statements and returns - Maintain accurate homeowner records and updating homeowner information as necessary
- Confer freely and fully with the Board of Directors in connection with the performance of their duties - Assist in the efficiency and effectiveness of Board meetings with agenda preparation and attendance of manager - Assist the Officers of the Association in maintaining records of the Association - Attend four Board meetings per year for two hours (begin prior to 6:00 p.m.) - Review all invoices and properly code for inclusion into correct spending category - Attend one annual membership meeting and prepare materials, supplies, necessary proxies and other information needed for a successful meeting. - Produce periodic variance reports to inform the Board of material variances to budget - Recommend and acquire insurance policies as required by governing documents - Negotiate all maintenance and service contracts necessary to support the community - Assist with preparation and distribution of letters/bulletins to conduct association business - Maintain relationships to facilitate the hiring of attorneys, accountants and other experts required - Assist Board/Committees in the interpreting and enforcement of the governing documents
- Conduct property inspections every two weeks - Arrange for maintenance and repair of the limited common elements, common elements and other maintenance and repairs as required by the associations governing documents - Issue work orders - Track work order performance and completion - Review vendor performance and ensure contract compliance - Provide quality feedback to vendors - Ensure association receives value for expenditures - Assist in the enforcement of the Rules and Regulations of the Association - Send compliance correspondence and track historical information - Assure compliance with Condominium Act or Planned Community Act
- Maintain staff for live answers to homeowner phone calls - Answer homeowner questions on: Billing and account information Work order status General questions about their community association - Association communications such as bulletins, mailings, and newsletters - Follow-up on collections issues and concerns - Process individual mailing and group mailing pieces
- Assess and file insurance claims - Act as association witness in legal proceedings - Assist CPA in annual audits and taxes
One key to the success of any association is the formation of committees. Through committees, work can be specialized so that important tasks are able to be accomplished more efficiently versus depending on the Board of Directors to handle all issues that may arise. Committees are comprised of non-board association members. Committee participation allows for new ideas and a broader sampling of community opinions; the greater number of association members who actively participate in committees decreases the workload for each individual and thus the likelihood that association members will get burnt out with community decision making. Typically, each committee will have a Board Member liaison and each committee will have a chairperson who reports the committee’s activity to the Board. Written reports regarding committee activity are often circulated to Board Members alongside the agenda and are more expeditious than verbal reports given during meetings. Though the authority over the association remains with the board, committees are very helpful in that they create community activities as well as provide feedback and recommendations to the Board. Two types of committees that may be formed in an association. Standing Committees Responsible for performing ongoing tasks such as handling financial matters, social activities and maintaining facilities. Ad-hoc Committees Are formed for specific purposes and periods of time. Some of these purposes may include nominating Board Members or providing in-depth study of a community issue. It is important to be sure that your association’s insurance covers volunteers and to recognize those volunteers – everyone wants to feel appreciated!

Become an HOA (Homeowners Association) Expert

Condominium, townhomes and many planned developments that include single-family home neighborhoods are considered associations. This means that there are common elements to the property enjoyed by all homeowners living there. The number and type of common elements vary and can include but are not limited to entrance signs and gates, clubhouse facilities, tennis and swimming facilities, street lights, sidewalks, service utilities, insurance and many other communal assets. These common elements are owned by the community and are thus maintained by all who have common ownership interest.

A Homeowner’s Association, commonly referred to as an HOA, COA, or POA, and is a corporation registered with the state and managed by an elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to govern the affairs of the community in accordance with the provision of the governing legal documents. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the neighborhood. Associations also set out certain rules that all residents must follow called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Membership is both automatic and mandatory and conveyed with the purchase of the property.

Most associations are registered as nonprofit corporations.
When you purchase a new property, the closing documents reference the fact that the property is in an association and that the buyer will abide by the rules and regulations in that community. Membership to the association is both automatic and mandatory and conveys with the deed and ends with the sale of the property. The buyer is ultimately responsible for discovering if the property that they purchase is inside an association and following the rules that govern that community.
The governing documents outline a standard that helps preserve the look, feel, and sense of community of the property. Community amenities help to enhance the quality of life and promote social activities within the neighborhood. Most neighbors maintain that the biggest benefit of their association is preserving the value and integrity of their individual investment.
The Board of Directors is a group of homeowners just like yourself that volunteer to participate in the day to day activities of the association. In the same way that our elected officials uphold our Constitution, the BOD upholds and enforces the community’s governing documents as their fiduciary, legal and ethical obligation.

The powers and duties of the board include: set and collect annual assessments; use and expend the assessments collected to operate, maintain, repair replace, modify, care for, manage and preserve the common areas; procure, maintain and pay premiums for insurance; contract for management of the association; amend and add to the rules and regulations governing the use of the common areas; purchase equipment; and more.

The day-to-day operations of most associations are so detailed and involved that they go far beyond the scope and time and attention that most volunteers can provide for the community and its members. Most Boards recognize the need to hire a professional firm that can provide experience and expertise. The management company can also serve as an objective third party for neighbor to neighbor disputes.
Our goal is to provide partnership for your Board of Directors and the homeowners in your community. Ultimately, we strive to protect and enhance the value of your investment. Often, our position and authority can be misunderstood. Associations are governed by their own set of documents called covenants and bylaws. The elected Board of Directors enforces these documents and they work to represent the needs of the whole community. To better understand Your HOAs’ role in your community, take a look at the things we handle and the things we don’t handle:

WE HANDLE: All Homeowner Inquiries Overseeing Subcontractors Obtain Bids for Subcontractor Service Bill and Collect assessments for your Association Provide a simple payment center Enforce Community Rules and Covenants Provide Financial Statements and Reports Solving Homeowner Problems Serving in an advisory role with the BOD

WE DO NOT HANDLE: Making the BIG decisions. Your board makes all the decisions for your community; we just help put them in place! Provide vendor services. We help manage, but we do not select or provide these services. Resolving neighbor to neighbor disputes. Provide public service. Your municipality and police departments handle these. Offering legal services or advice.

Understand the Finances: Assessments & Fees

When you purchase a property in an association, you become part of a common interest development. All homeowners are required to share in the common expenses of the maintaining and operating your community’s common areas, equipment, and shared amenities.

Each year the Board of Directors for your community meets to discuss expenditures from the past years, funding the reserve or savings account, and takes in to consideration any planned projects for the coming year. Assessments are set by the Board of Directors and cover the business and finances for the Association. Each owner’s share is based on the projected annual expenses in the community. Board members are homeowners too and as such are obligated to pay assessments just like any owner. Board members are volunteers and do not profit from the business of the community.

Each community is managed by a set of governing documents referred to as articles of incorporation, bylaws, covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), rules and regulations. Since each community has specific governing documents, the budget and finances are regulated in these documents. Assessments are due annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly depending on community’s documents. Dues are always due on the first day of the billing cycle.

Most community’s assessments cover some or all the following expenses with the homeowner’s dues: ongoing maintenance, insurance policies, utility payments, reserve funds, personnel, professional management fees.

Many homeowners still receive coupon books once a year at the expense of the association. Every year more and more of our communities elect to go “paperless” to save their association the added expense of these coupon books. Additionally, homeowners have the opportunity to go “paperless” themselves by signing up for eStatements in lieu of receiving a coupon book.
Your HOA offers easy and convenient payment options:

1. Secure Online Payment through the Your HOA owner’s portal (Preferred)

2. Mailing a Check to the Your HOA processing center (please mail 10 to 15 days in advance of due date)

3. Bank Bill Payment (Please set up payment through your bank at least 10 to 15 days in advance of the due date since a physical check is mailed from your banking institution).

View Payment Section on the Website >

Simply submit a request to Your HOA through your portal and in the detail of the request provide the two or more accounts you would like to be linked.

Please note, the owner name, mailing address and email address must match on the accounts.

When the Board of Directors determines the need for a capital expense that is above and beyond the normal budget for the community, a special assessment may be required. Often, a vote is needed from the community to approve the added expense. Special assessments can cover additional expenses such as an unexpected property loss, deferred maintenance concerns, and additional community enhancements.
Each association’s documents can require a different set of rules. Often if there is non-payment on an owner’s account, the covenants expect a late payment fee and interest to be assessed on the account. If the account continues to go unpaid, a preparation of account fee will also be applied to the owner’s account.

Should an owner’s account go unpaid, the owner may receive up to three separate letters mailed to the mailing address on file over the course of 90 days. The first letter is a Payment Reminder, then a Second Notice and finally an Intent to Lien is mailed to the addressee. Should an owner receive an Intent Lien Notice, they are given 15 days to make arrangements for payment. The Board of Directors determines if the delinquent account should be turned over to the association’s collection attorney.

The goal of every association is to preserve the value of the community’s assets and the property values for each homeowner. When assessments go unpaid, homeowners are negatively impacted because the financial responsibility of the community are equally shared among all neighbors. Delinquent accounts can mean unpaid bills and put the community in jeopardy. Rules and regulations in the community can dictate strong fines for compliance and delinquent accounts.
Once a scheduled closing date for sell of your property is determined, your closing attorney (or the homeowner) submits closing documentation to Your HOA.

Once the closing documentation is received, Your HOA will put the account on a “closing hold”. A packet of information will then be sent back to the closing attorney. This documentation includes, but is not limited to:

Closing Statement:

- Outstanding balances or credits on your current HOA account

- Seller Certification Fee

- Additional charges associated with the purchase

HOA information for the buyer

HOA governing documents, if requested by the attorney

The Transfer Fee is an industry standard charge that covers the costs associated with transferring ownership from seller to buyer within an HOA. Rush fees may also apply, based on the timing of your attorney’s request.
If documentation has not been received indicating a successful closing, Your HOA's closing coordinator will reach out to the closing attorney to check on the status. For unsuccessful closings, the closing hold on your account will be removed. Any payments that were received and held during the closing hold will be applied to your account as normal. To avoid fees, please be sure to catch up on any payments missed during this time.

If a new closing is scheduled, your closing attorney will fill out a new request, and the process starts over. If you continue to have an outstanding balance after this hold is removed, then late fees would be assessed as normal, in accordance with your community’s governing documents.