Tracey at Western Slope HOA Management, LLC found this article interesting when she came across it during a CAM educational course. It also reminds one of how the structure of government works, and of how the Homeowner Associations really are grass root political organizations meant for the good of the community.
For most Common Interest Communities (CICs), the basic legal documents and the hierarchy of such documents are, as follows:
- CONSITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES & STATE CONSTITUTION
- COMMON LAW, UNITED STATES FEDERAL & STATE LAWS. The Association's documents should not conflict with the laws of the land. Common, Corporate, Civil and Federal laws take precedence over the documents when there is a conflict. Individual community rules and regulations, however, may be more restrictive, i.e., cars cannot be parked on the private streets. Common laws are those which derive their authority solely from usages and customs of immemorial antiquity. It is understood and contrasted with statutory or criminal law and relates more to special or local rules and customs. Common laws, however, cannot be inconsistent with State or U.S. Laws.
- SUBDIVISION PLAT. Describes the location and nature of the common property and the individual lots.
- PROPERTY DEEDS. Compromise the individual lot deeds and the deeds to common property which give a legal description of the property.
- THE DECLARATION OF COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS (CC&R'S). The declaration is the collection of covenants issue on all property within the development and provides:
1. For automatic association membership of all owners and the basis of voting rights
2. The obligation of each owner to share in funding the costs of association operations
3. Certain restrictions (architectural control and other rules) on the use of the property and the Association's enforcement power
4. Sets forth the power and authority of the Association to own and maintain the common property and to make and enforce rules
5. A contract which binds the owners of the individual property owners together
6. Lender protections and provisions are found in this document as this is recorded against each lot in the CIC
- ANNEXATION AGREEMENTS Brings new parcels and/or lots into the community. This is an important document to ensure all properties and parcels ARE part of the CIC before litigation when their defense is that they are not part of the CIC
- PUBLIC OFFERING STATEMENTS A document that the Developer gives to each first purchaser in the development disclosing those things that may influence the purchasing decision (such as Earthquake fault zones, flood planes, air traffic patterns, etc.)
- ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION Creates the Association as a legal entity (usually a non-profit) under State Corporate statutes and define the broad powers and responsibilities of the Association and its members
- BYLAWS Normally implements, in specific detail, the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation regarding the Association operations, including the meetings and election processes, powers and duties, board meetings, committees, insurance requirements, rule making and enforcement process.
- RULES AND REGULATIONS Sets forth the operational powers or provisions an the use restrictions adopted by the Association board. Cannot conflict with other governing documents. Should further define provisions which may be unclear.
Western Slope HOA Management, LLC would support including this document with newly appointed / elected Board Members. The importance of the BOD dynamics are often overlooked when busy volunteers get "drafted" to terms. To make the volunteered time more enjoyable and productive, everyone should be "on board" with these simple ideas.
HOA Director Code of Conduct
As a Director elected to serve the interests of my Homeowner Association, I agree to:
- Act in the Community's Interests. Directors will strive for the common good of the HOA, foregoing personal interests. Personal agendas will be left at home.
- Engage in Lawful Acts. All Board actions will comply with the governing documents ad Colorado law. To accomplish this requires thoughtful deliberation and input of knowledgeable professionals.
- Maintain High Standards of Conduct. Director's conduct should b above reproach and avoid the appearance of impropriety.
- Demonstrate Mutual Respect. Directors will address each other and homeowners with respect, even when in disagreement.
- Attend All Board Meetings. Effectiveness is based on keeping informed and making informed decisions. This is made possible by attending meetings where decisions are made.
- Be Prepared. Directors will come prepared to meetings by reviewing the agenda and related materials before the meeting.
- Keep Focused. Directors will listen attentively and courteously to demonstrate respect and willingness to learn.
- Maintain Confidentiality. Directors will not share highly sensitive information and will respect the privacy of all owners.
- Maintain a Supportive Attitude. Directors will encourage owners, employees, managers and contractors to promote better performance and teamwork.
- Be Loyal. Directors will respect the authority of the Board by not undermining majority decisions and enacted policy.
- Respect the Rules. Directors will obey the homeowner association rules to set a positive example to others. Directors are not "above the law".
- Pay Assessments on Time. Directors will remain current in all charges and will not expect special treatment.
- Promote Harmony. Directors will promote harmony in act, word and deed.
I have read and understand the HOA Director Code of Conduct. I agree to comply with these rules.
The most effective attribute a successful HOA Property Management Company can have are:
1) The ability to handle day-to-day issues with good sense and without supervision
2) Helpfully guide the Board's decision-making processes and
3) Be available and responsive to homeowners
Naturally, a successful HOA manager should be professionally competent is all aspects of Association Management and have the requisite licensure and experience to perform their required duties. But there are other attributes that are important to be a successful HOA service provider!
Homeowners have more permanence and investment than renters, so effective HOA Management must consider the long-term implications of its actions differently than a typical property management firm. Consistency, fairness, approachability and proven experience are important considerations, as are the interpersonal skills of the firm' manager(s) in dealing with conflicts, emergencies and the expressed interests of the Board in all aspects of their community.
With this in mind, it's important to hire an HOA management company that has proven methods for managing group politics and negotiating agreements among members with conflicting points of view. You should feel comfortable and confident that your Manager will represent your community with its best interests at heart.
You should expect your professional HOA management company to deliver these key results:
Faster response times, to Board requests and homeowner inquiries
Safe and efficient financial management
Fairness and equity in handling disputes
Better vendor relations and more diversified bids
About 75% of HOAs are managed by professional companies.
Finding the firm to best fit your needs is what it's all about.
We at Western Slope HOA Management, LLC hope to have an opportunity to work with you!