A community association is a group of owners who wish to provide a communal basis for preserving,
The Homeowners Association Defining Characteristics
- Has possession and title to the common elements.
- Is responsible for the maintenance, administration and control of the project through the establishment of a system of property rights, binding covenants and restrictions and rules and regulations.
- Membership in the community association is mandatory and automatic for all owners. This is unlike other associations whose membership is voluntary.
- Certain documents bind all owners to be governed by the community association. These documents require mutual obligations to be performed by the individual owner and the community.
- Mandatory lien-based economic charges or assessments are levied on each owner in order to operate and maintain the community association.
What is the purpose of a Community Association?
People choose to live in community associations for numerous reasons. Many association owners value the inherent benefits offered by community association living. Community associations are designed to:
- Manage common areas of the property
- Manage property interests of owners
- Provide services for owners
- Develop a sense of community through social activities and/or amenities.
What is the legal basis (hierarchy)?
- Federal Law
- Ex: FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
- Ex: Fair Housing
- State laws
- Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA)
- “Good faith compliance with the law”
- Non-Profit Corporation Act
- Court decisions
- Governing documents, including:
- Declaration, CC&Rs
- Articles of Incorporation
- Resolutions / Policies
- Rules & Regulations
The basic authority in a community association lies with the owners. However, the owners elect a board of directors to act on their behalf. Usually the governing documents delegate almost all of the association’s decision-making powers to the board.
Typically, the owners have the voting power to:
- Elect and remove directors
- Amend any of the governing documents, except board resolutions
- Approve special assessments or capital improvements
- Veto budgets (ratification process per bylaws and State Law)
Owners have the responsibility to:
- Read and comply with the governing documents.1872
- Maintain their property according to established standards.
- Treat association leaders honestly and with respect.
- Vote in community elections and on other issues.
- Pay association assessments and charges on time.
- Contact association leaders or managers, if necessary, to discuss financial obligations and alternate payment arrangements.
- Request reconsideration of material decisions that personally affect them.
- Provide current contact information.
- Ensure that those who reside on their property adhere to all rules and regulations.
The board of directors bears the ultimate responsibility for operating the community association on behalf it its owners. It is the role of a board to set the policies, standards, procedures, programs and budget of its association. A board may implement its own decisions – or delegate implementation to a manager, committees, or an independent contractor.
The role and scope of authority of the board may be broad or specific, depending on the association’s governing documents and the law. Most governing documents and state law provide the board with the same authority as a corporation. Examples of powers generally granted by the governing documents and state law to the board include:
- The authority to set goals, standards, and policies for the association
- Enforcing the governing documents
- Maintaining the property
- Maintaining the association’s financial stability
- Purchasing adequate insurance
- Entering into contracts for services
- Creating and supervising committees
- Conducting annual meetings and board meetings
In summary, board members have the responsibility to:
- Fulfill their fiduciary duties to the community and exercise discretion in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the community.
- Exercise sound business judgment.
- Balance the needs and obligations of the community as a whole with those of individual owners/residents.
- Understand the association governing documents and become educated with respect to applicable state and local laws.
- Establish committees or use other methods to obtain input from owners.
- Conduct open, fair, and well-publicized elections
- Welcome and educate new members of the community
- Encourage input from residents.
- Encourage events that foster neighborliness.
- Conduct business in a transparent manner.
- Allow owners access to appropriate community records.
- Collect all monies due from owners and non-owner residents.
- Provide a process residents can use to appeal decisions affecting their non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights.
- Provide complete and timely disclosure of personal and financial conflicts of interest related to action of community leaders.
Committees are the backbone of the association. Developing an active, capable volunteer group through the formation of committees promotes a healthy community association. They focus on topics ranging from finance to architecture. Committee reports help the board to make informed decisions. Most associations have two types of committees—standing and ad hoc. Association bylaws and documents provide the board with the authority and oftentimes the guidelines on setting up committees. The way a committee is structured, and the guidelines established for functions and interaction with the board, affects the committee’s success.
Advance HOA Management, Inc., as your management services company, implements actions per the direction and decisions made by the board. We care about your community and want to play an active role in making your community even better. We provide knowledgeable, effective direction, advice and services necessary to maintain and enhance the operation, lifestyle, and property values of your association. Our services include, but may not be limited to, the following duties:
- Fiscal Management
- Administrative Management
- Physical Management
A successful community association requires the efforts of many people in order to be successful. Committee members, board members, and officers all have roles to play; and an active, informed, interested membership is perhaps the most important component of all.
Hyatt, Wayne S., "The Community Association: An Introduction," Hyatt & Stubblefield, P.C.,
The Essentials of Community Association Management M-100, Community Associations Institute, Alexandria, Virginia.
Introduction to Community Living, Community Associations Institute, Alexandria, Virginia.
GAP 16, Community Associations Institute
Community Association Leadership: a guide for volunteers, Community Associations Institute.