What Residents Should Know and How it Works
Condo living is the greatest sociological experiment of all time. It is truly a communal existence, whether you may or may not know your neighbors. It’s important that residents grasp the basic roles and tasks of all those involved in managing the HOA corporate asset. Besides the running day-to-day business, there are the issues of owners’ return on investment and quality of life in the community to consider.
The number one role of the Board of Directors is ultimately to increase property values. There are many ways of going about this. Often, improved quality of life in the community can be simultaneously achieved with efforts that involve improving return on investment.
Ultimately, the Board of Directors is responsible for the financial and physical health of the community. The HOA management company assists Board Members by ensuring their decisions are made within the confines of legal compliance, sound fiscal budgeting and financial management, addressing health and safety concerns, responsibly managing maintenance, and maintaining reserves at minimum levels.
What is a Community Association?
In California, a community or homeowners’ association is often referred to as a common interest development. A common interest development (CID) is a planned neighborhood or community where all owners are members of the Association. The Association is a mutual benefit non-profit corporation subject to all Civil and Corporation Codes in California.
What does a Board of Directors do?
The Board of Directors consists of members of the Association who are elected volunteers who represent the interests of the community members to conduct business on behalf of the Corporation.
How do I find out what the Board discusses at meetings?
Boards are required to post meeting notices as well as publish or make available minutes of all regular meetings. Contact your management team for this information.
How do I get involved with the Board or Committees?
The best way to get involved is to attend Board Meetings and volunteer. To volunteer for a Board position, each year the Association must conduct an annual meeting in which Directors are elected by the members.
What are some resources for more information about HOAs and their legal documents?
Please see a pamphlet produced by the Department of Real Estate or visit CAI® for other materials.
What does my assessment pay for?
The Board reviews and adopts a budget for the community association each year. To obtain a copy of this budget you may contact your management team. Essentially, assessments pay for the maintenance, operation, upkeep and long-term repair and replacement of all the common areas within your community. Also, as a non-profit corporation, your Association has administrative expenses including insurance, financial statement reviews, tax filings, license renewals, and management.
How do I know the Association is using assessments appropriately?
The Association is required to distribute the annual budget and an annual financial review which is generally conducted by an independent CPA. Copies of these documents are available to all homeowners. As a member of the Association, each owner may also review a monthly financial report whenever requested. These documents may be accessed through your HOA’s website, or by contacting your management team.
What does ASPM do for my community?
We manage your community at the direction of the Board of Directors. In addition to preparing for Association Meetings, both administratively and operationally, we regularly inspect the common areas, exercise oversight of vendors and contractors, and obtain proposals for new projects and maintenance services. As Board Members are volunteers, we assist the Board in meeting all compliance issues with Federal, State and local laws and codes. We provide customer service to residents, address community and neighbor complaints, and work with the Board on the implementation of community guidelines and enforcement. One of our primary duties is the preparation of balanced, accurate and fiscally responsible financial reports. We oversee and produce all accounting functions for your association, such as budget planning, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger preparation, and we consult with financial resources on investment advice relevant to each association’s needs.
What Are the Governing Documents of a Homeowner / Condominium Association?
These are all of the documents that regulate the community life and may vary, depending on the type of community (condo, town home, etc.)
- Declaration of Covenants or Master Deed
- Conditions and Restrictions
- Rules and Regulations
- Plats of Survey and Easement Agreements (may be separate, often included in the declaration)
What are the CC&Rs?
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&Rs were recorded by the County recorder’s office of the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&Rs may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Association. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site.
What are the Bylaws?
The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Association as a business. The Bylaws for the association may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site.
What are the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions?
The declaration of CC&R’s is the collection of covenants imposed on all property within the development and provides:
- For automatic association membership of all owners and the basis for voting rights
- The obligation of each owner to share in funding the cost of association operations
- Certain restrictions (architectural control and other rules) on the use of the property and the association’s enforcement powers
- Sets forth the power and authority of the association to own and maintain the common property and to make and enforce rules