Basic Community Legal Documentation

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:

  • 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.


Tracey Heritage

Tracey had been licensed as an Associate Broker, then Managing Broker from 2004 to 2013. At the time this designation was what was required to manage Homeowner Associations.  She worked with Monument Realty from 2002 to 2007 in the Property Management department.  At that time, Monument discontinued this department and Tracey opened Heritage Property Management.  Her development of a website data base on-line for HOA information was a first in the community and is still utilized today. 

Western Slope HOA Management will also utilize an on-line database.  We are encouraging e-mail as the primary form of correspondence; association fee billings, violation notices,  neighborly newsletters and general information will be shared with Owners in a timely manner.  The intention is to reduce extreme postage expenses most HOA's bear.

Tracey has been semi-retired for several years.  She completed a Veterinary Technician degree, mastered some culinary courses, writing fiction (so far unpublished!) and tending to her small flock of chickens and four dogs. 

She has noted that while regulations and requirements for Homeowner Associations have been steadily on the rise, the number of companies available to HOA's has remained stagnant.  Her desire is to maintain a small number of Associations in which to give dedicated attention to. 

Tracey completed the required CAM licensure for herself and her company in April.   

Thank you for your interest and hope we may be of service to you.