Asbestos at Home Needs Safe Removal

Doctors diagnose around 3,000 cases of mesothelioma every year, and most of them come from asbestos exposure in the workplace. A rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity and abdomen, mesothelioma usually causes mild symptoms that resemble less serious illnesses in the early stages. By the time doctors find the illness, however, it has usually spread to other parts of the body.

Danger at Home and Work

Asbestos is a heat-resistant silica fiber used to make fire-resistant material and insulation. Bans on its use have lowered the incidence of cancer, but mesothelioma may not show up for 20 years or longer. New cases are still being diagnosed.

The major sites for carcinogen exposure in the past were in the military, in shipyards, on construction sites and at other industrial locations. Other cases resulted from secondary exposure by family members, from living near mines or from being exposed to old or damaged building materials or other items containing toxic fibers in the home. Ceiling tiles, flooring, insulation, old appliances and talcum powder were common sources. Even small items like hair dryers and bottle warmers posed a risk until the late 1980s.

Asbestos Testing at Home and Work

Most buildings built between 1920 and 1989 have fibers in the building materials, but they may also be found in gas heaters and home products. Newer items usually do not contain particles but are labeled if they do. Asbestos testing may be necessary under the following conditions:

• Areas that are coming apart, broken, cracked or dusty may be emitting airborne fibers.
• Materials that will be disturbed in construction or renovation may release dangerous particles.
• A trained professional must inspect the site before and during the work.

Removal from the Home or Workplace

Asbestos was widely used in homes and businesses from 1920 until it was banned in 1989. Any remodeling project or renovation on a building from that period could release fibers into the air and requires special precautions:

• A qualified professional must inspect the property.
• Residents need to stay away from the home if fibers are suspected.
• Sweeping, dusting and vacuuming should be avoided.
• There should be no sawing, drilling, sanding or scraping in suspected areas.
• A licensed contractor must follow a strict protocol.
• Adjacent areas of the home need to be sealed off to keep fibers out.
• Workers need special equipment and protective gear.
• After completion, the air should be monitored for particles.
• Safety officials recommend hiring trained professionals.

In early 2019, no federal regulations prevented homeowners from removing the material themselves, but the Environmental Protection Agency recommends against it. Regulations differ according to state, county or city regulation. Fans of home decorating shows may like to know that popcorn ceiling and textured paint contain dangerous fibers. Safety always comes first.

6 Typical Rules For an HOA

If you haven’t dealt with a homeowners association before, you should prepare for rules. Rules govern many of the activities of daily residents. HOA’s aren’t for everyone, so before you make an offer on a home and move-in, you should understand how one may affect your living experience.

HOA’s are more commonplace in certain parts of the country than others. Their main goal is to maintain increasing property values by creating a positive quality of life.  Usually it’s the developer that governs the HOA until a certain amount of homes are sold. Then it’s eventually turned over to the homeowners. These fees go towards, parks, pools, garbage, etc.   Here are some rules which HOA’s may dictate that can affect you life.

Parking

This is one of the major causes for concern. When you live in community with limited parking, visitors and homeowners tend to park in a highly unorganized manner. This might be reminiscent of living in big apartment community that you can find here https://www.rentkidz.com/apartments-tx-dallas/. These communities have many cars and often not enough spots to park.  Guests may block your garage or park in the middle of the street. This can also create an eyesore.

If your the type of person who has lots of friends and family who visit,  then you will want to check out the parking situation. Is there adequate guest parking? What happens when guest parking is full. Many HOA’s have a parking policy that you want to review.

Fees

You will be responsible for a yearly fee. The first item of business you will want to be aware of, fees usually increase over time.  What do they cover in the community? Usually fees cover the street, gates, vegetation, landscaping, etc. If you were living in a single family home, you would probably be paying out of pocket for these items anyway. So don’t view them as a nuisance fee. HOA’s also like to keep reserves in case of an emergency. Fees are always a major of a topic if you live in an HOA.

Pets

Dogs bark and they leave messes. When homeowners walk their dogs and don’t clean up after their pets this can create frustration and anger in the community. Dogs also bark at random hours in the evening.  Good HOA’s should institute strict pet policies. If there aren’t any rules regarding pets, then issues are sure to arise without immediate solutions.

Renters

Some homeowners will at one point start to rent out their home. You will find that there are also rules that govern this as well. The tenants who move-in will not have voting rights.

Keep Up Appearance

Homeowners must make timely repairs and maintain building codes. If you choose to repaint your home or replace your fence, chances are there are certain rules to abide by. If you want to make changes that aren’t accepted, you will have a very difficult time convincing anyone on the HOA board.

If you make changes that are not approved, you will most likely be notified in writing and asked to make those changes. Many HOA’s have the ability to fine homeowners.

 

An HOA certainly has its place today. However, you want to look within and decide if you can live by the rules before you purchase a home in the community. People who simply cannot acquiesce, should look elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits Of Living In A HOA

HOA stands for Homeowners Associations, which are becoming very common everywhere around the USA. Despite the fact that many note that living in HOA requires following strict guidelines and rules, living in such communities and being involved in HOA comes with plenty of advantages for everyone. One of the best things about it is that functional and effective HOA increases the value of the home in the neighborhood. The regulations, rules and guidelines set by the HOA are designed in such way to protect and increase the value of property.

What Does HOA Do?

The main role of the homeowners association is to make sure that no one can negatively affect the property value in the neighborhood. That’s why setting up rules is necessary because rules are there to protect the interests of the homeowners. Although people aren’t fond of following regulations and different set of rules, homeowners associations are still very popular. If there are no rules then homeowners can act as they wish at the expense of others without worrying about consequences.

Advantages of HOA Properties

Most homeowners associations provide the residents in the community with all kinds of great amenities such as protective gates, swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, ponds, gardens and others. There are many quality Outdoor Commercial Furniture for HOAs & Multi Family Communities available out there and the HOA fees are usually used for their maintenance and keeping a nice appearance of the particular neighborhood. The neighborhood not only looks good, but it provides a nice atmosphere for everyone living in it. Presence of quality amenities increases the satisfaction and enjoyment of living in a protected and friendly community.
HOA properties are also great because the rules in place deter detrimental members that can negatively affect the community. Unruly behavior is prevented and there’s no problems associated with problematic neighbors. Those homeowners who aren’t able to follow rules or that don’t want to sign a contract to respect the guidelines of HOA community are unlikely to get a chance to live in such a neighborhood. Because of that, the HOA community will be more likely to have members that share similar values and goals. That makes it ideal for those that want to live in a friendly and peaceful community where they’ll know most of their neighbors.

Long Term Benefits of Living in A HOA

If you’re considering buying a house or condominium in a planned and gated residential area, the chances are big that you’ll need to join the homeowners association of that particular place. By becoming a member of the homeowners association you’ll need to pay certain HOA fees and charges, which will primarily be used for upkeep and proper maintenance of all mutual amenities in the residential neighborhood. Buildings, gardens, pools, clubhouses and all other amenities will be maintained from the money paid by the members as fees. HOA rules and regulations are often very detailed and pedantic and living in such a community comes with many great benefits.
One of the things that many people love about such communities is the fact that their maintenance responsibilities are significantly reduced. After maintenance fees are collected from the homeowners, the association takes charge and does everything necessary to keep the property looking and functioning as it should. You don’t have to do any demanding work regarding fixing objects, painting walls, cleaning pools, mowing the lawn, maintain trails and playgrounds, plant flowers and so on. All of that is done by a specialized service, so the HOA properties are always kept attractive and appealing with their outside beauty.
Using mutual amenities for free is another good thing for people that live in the community, because you as a resident are privileged to use pools, sports facilities, halls, barbecue pits, tennis courts, playgrounds and everything else in the community free of charge. You can recreate yourself anytime you want and socialize with other neighbors that live in the same community. Besides free amenities, there are also some other quality HOA amenities which you can use for a small charge or membership fee. These types of amenities often require regular care and maintenance, but it still doesn’t cost much to use them. These are gyms, laboratories, fitness and spa centers, internet centers and library.

How HOA Improves Relations and Handles Problems

HOA encourages interaction and good communication among residents. It’s of great importance for the community members and neighbors to know each other. By having friendly, cooperative and helpful neighbors you’re getting massive advantage if there’s some kind of emergency. That’s why the HOA organizes regular meetings and other events for socialization among neighbors, encouraging residents to make friends. There are often some parties for welcoming new member of the community or birthday celebrations. Not only is this good for friendships but it also increases the sense of security among neighbors.
When it comes to problems and disputes, they’re all properly and quickly handled by the homeowners association. Sometimes mistakes and misunderstandings can happen between neighbors, which is a normal thing in every community. Inside a regulated community like HOA these disputes are handled pretty well and proper solutions are given immediately, so the neighbors will cooperate and be friendly again. Complaints filed against the community and its amenities or facilities, as well as against other community issues are quickly looked at and resolved with help of the HOA.
As you can see, there are many benefits of living in a homeowners association. Besides these there are many more, so you should definitely consider moving into such a neighborhood. Living in HOA will give you many advantages and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that your community is protected and safe. Get in touch with some of your local real estate agencies and ask about all details regarding these beneficial properties. Get informed about everything and find the most suitable home for your needs. Buying a property and living in a HOA is one of the most valuable and most beneficial investments you can make in life.

Easily Manage your HOA Pool with Task(and Time) Eliminating Software

Pools managed by HOAs are easily susceptible to losing revenue channels and offering freedom that
is often taken advantage of. Without the ability to constantly overlook the pools management
elements, it is difficult to control important aspects such as access control for members and
guests, employee relations, and membership payments.

Many HOAs accept these disadvantages and allow members and nonmembers to abuse the pools benefits.
However, that does not need to continue any longer. There is a simple solution to these issues, a
management software. This software can handle each of the previously mentioned problems with HOA
managed swim clubs while decreasing staff time and increasing revenue.

Access Control:

Member Check-in
Tracking member check-in is a vital aspect to any successful pool. With HOAs, there is variability
in the membership aspect. Your HOA pool may offer the pool pass within the HOA pool while another
HOA may offer pool access for an extra fee. Since both of these options exist, being able to track
the people accessing the pool becomes a priority. The software features that are offered to deal
with this aspect of pool management includes the option of check-in through barcodes or by last
name. Barcode check-ins typically involve having a member ID number or a member card to scan when
entering the pool. That option is simple but even more straightforward is the last name check-in
process where members will give their name or put it into a check-in system.

Guest and Childcare Passes
With members comes the desire to bring in guests or have childcare bring their children to the pool
while they are unavailable. With a strict membership check-in procedure through the software, it is
a necessity that there is an offer for guests and babysitters to attend the pool. A software will
have the ability for your members to purchase guest and childcare passes as well as be able to
track the use of the passes. Typically, childcare passes will be offered for the entire season,
while guests will use one-day passes that will be sold individually or in packages.

Employee Relations
Members are not the only ones that seem to take advantage of the lack of management that an HOA
pool has; the employees are also known to work the system to their advantage. Without a

software, what is to stop employees from closing the pool a little early or showing up to their
shift a late? With the software, the employee check-in system will enforce the hours of each shift
and eliminate any opportunities for employees to abuse their freedom. The time clock feature will
track employee clock-ins and clock-outs. Another feature helpful in employee relations includes the
calendar schedule. This gets rid of shift confusion and allows staff to keep track of their
coworkers.

Membership Payments:
As the leading revenue channel for HOA pools, the membership fees/dues need to be the easiest
process of pool management. Software systems will eliminate the manual payment process that most
pools use now, and replace it with an online format. Not only does this stop the transaction of
physical money, but it also offers 24/7 access to the system for people who want to be able to
purchase their memberships, guest passes, and childcare passes on their own time. Whether it be
five minutes before or two weeks ahead, the system will track each purchase and make it accessible
to the member.

If your HOA already has another system for payments, the software can also work with third parties
to gather the membership information and place the members and their extra passes into the system.

To learn more about a pool management software with features that specialize in saving you
time and money, check out: https://www.esoftplanner.com/packages/swim-club/

No Condo or HOA Management Company Near You? – No Problem

A lot of towns around the country may not have a company that provides management services that cater to condo communities and homeowner associations.  Maybe an experienced manager hasn’t moved to town or the market is not large enough to support a company that specializes in community association management.  Or there is someone but their service is terrible. What is a board to do?

Hiring someone without condo or HOA expertise usually leads to problems.  You may be tempted to work with a generalist property manager. Someone that manages some houses, a few small apartment buildings and a commercial property or two.  This person will reduce some of the workload of the board but they lack critical understanding about community associations and their needs.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a specialist that understands community associations?  The company would know about declarations and bylaws, about any state regulations and also help advise the board on industry best practices.  If applicable, the business would be licensed to work with community funds and would carry insurance required by the state. Additionally, the business would be using the latest community management specific technology that would make the board’s job easier and make unit owners happy with features like online payments.

What if I told you there is a way to get over 55% of the work of operating a community done remotely by a company that understands community association management?  In the process you could get better information and financial transparency that would give you more peace of mind. You could go from having a full-time volunteer “job” to enjoying the stress-free lifestyle that community living promised.  Plus, you may even be thanked by unit owners for giving them the latest online tools.

Enter Remote Financial & Administrative Management

Remote Financial Management handles the following accounting tasks: invoicing owners, collecting and depositing funds, answering payment questions, mailing late letters, working with collection agencies and attorneys with delinquent owners, paying bills, answering vendor questions and providing financial reports.  Depending on its capabilities it may also help with the following administrative tasks: sending out violation letters, processing community mailings, handling lender questionnaires when an owner refinances and resale certificates when an owner sells.  

Skeptical of Remote Services?

You may think that working with a service provider located out of town is spooky or something.  However, you already receive all sorts of similar services from companies that are not located in your area or the actual processing of the services are handled from outside your area.  Here are some examples: Collection – loan invoices, loan coupon books, credit card and utility bills are generated and mailed from a far off location; you also mail the payment to a distant location where they open, record and deposit the funds. Bill Payment – you receive an online payment request for a bill.  You have set up an online account and review the charge, and approve it by pay the bill online – this happens by debiting your bank account, entering information from a check or by credit card.  Financial Reports – you own shares in an investment and you receive financial reports in the mail or online from an investment manager or other business that is not located in your area.  Customer Service – you call or email support and the customer service representative is not located in your town, plus it is much faster than getting in your car, driving and waiting for an answer.

If remote service works for all these businesses it can work for your community.  To learn more about remote financial management and if it may be a fit for your community click here: Remote Financial Management – What it Is and How it Works.

Self-Management with Support May Be the Best Solution for Your Community

Over one third of condo communities and homeowner associations (HOAs) are self-managed.  If you have 100 units/homes or less or have a high level of board participation you are a prime candidate to self-manage with support.  By support I mean with financial management services, administrative services and relying other professionals.  Benefits include saving money, increased control and often less frustration.  Self-management with support may be the best solution for your community.

 

Community Associations Institute (CAI) defines a self-managed community as meaning they may use professional assistance for specific projects, activities and services, but do not employ a professional manager or management company.

 

You Won’t Be Alone

According to the most recent Community Associations Institute (CAI) Statistical Review an estimated 30-40 percent of community associations are self-managed.  The number of community associations in 2018 is estimated at 347,000 which included 27 million housing units.  If we use 35% that are self-managed that means approximately 121,450 communities and 9.45 million housing units are self-managed.  A lot of communities use this form of management successfully.

 

Fear of the Burden

But you heard self-management is hard?  No one has time to volunteer for the board.  No one wants to do all the additional work involved. Well guess what – board members don’t have to do all the work themselves – does that alleviate some of your fear?  Maybe the self-managed community board member that told you it was a lot of work isn’t using the formula for success outlined below.

 

How to Make it Easier

Financial Management Services – Handle all the monthly accounting activities such as: mail or email monthly, quarterly or annual statements or coupon books, deposit funds, answer owner payment questions, apply late fees and send late letters to delinquent owners, pay approved bills, answer vendor payment questions, send out year end 1099 tax forms, liaise with your collection attorney with late payers, produce monthly financial reports and reconcile the reports against your bank accounts.  You don’t have to worry about pestering your neighbor that paid late or have to keep track of all the accounting activity on your own.

 

Administrative Services – Handle many of the common administrative tasks a community needs such as: assist with community mailings, handle resale certificates and lender questionnaires for refinancing, offer 24/7 emergency maintenance call handling, keep unit owner rosters and more.

 

Rely on your current cast of professionals – You probably have been using a host of community specialists successfully and that doesn’t have to change when you become self-managed.  Use your attorney that specializes in community associations to handle legal issues and foreclose on delinquent owners.  Continue using your CPA that knows community associations to do your tax return and audit.  Utilize all the good maintenance & construction vendors that have worked hard for your community who will still want to work for you – just get the vendor list from your manager before you leave.

 

By using these services you will also have an easier time attracting people to the board and keeping them on the board.  They won’t get burned out from doing all the work themselves feeling like it’s a pain in the patoot, part time, non-paying, underappreciated job.  Instead they will be supervising vendors that handle the majority of the work and provide guidance to make the board’s job easier.

 

Benefits

Savings.  Save over 50% of the cost of “full management” even after hiring a financial management company to do a lot of the work.  The cost of other professionals you use has been a line item in your previous budgets so not much will change there.

 

Increased Control. A manager won’t be paying for things that you are not aware of and you will have complete control over your expenses.  You will also have more control over when items on your to do list get done – remember having to go over the same items at every board meeting without getting results?

 

Less Frustration.  Remember having to email and call the manager numerous times to get answers – you won’t have to.  Through improved communication, including tools for 24/7 online access to information, you will lower your blood pressure.

 

Potential Additional Benefits.  Updated Features – your financial management vendor may offer e-statements, accept online payment of owner fees, reduce delinquencies with the threat of reporting late payers to credit bureaus (impacting their credit score), offer greater transparency to the board to review bills online before payment, may offer websites and mobile apps for enhanced communication, and other new features that your current manager doesn’t offer.

 

Summary

You can get what you want: less frustration, increased control and save big money without having the burden of traditional self-management.  By partnering with professionals you will get the support you need to make a change from “full management” to self-management with a much reduced and manageable workload.

 

If you want to learn more about making a change to becoming self-managed read our 10 Steps to Self-Manage your Community guide.

Setting Up a Community Garden in your HOA

Summertime is the time for planting, nurturing, and harvesting, both when it comes to delicious fruits and vegetables, and when it comes to your community. Warmer weather encourages neighbors to get out of doors, meet one another, have picnics and barbeques, and socialize in ways that they cannot during the winter months. One of the ways that a community can come together during the summer is to invest in a community garden. If you have never had one before, now is the time to bring the idea to the board. Here are a few tips for setting up a community garden in your HOA.

 

Get Permission From the Board

Before you really get started with your idea to set up a community garden, it will be necessary to get the backing and permission of the board. Set aside a time during a meeting where you can discuss ideas and vote on the idea as a board.

 

Get Help From the Community

Once your board has approved the idea, it is time to get the community involved. Try to get volunteers from both the board and around the community to help with construction and planning. Make sure to use as much community talent as you can before hiring anyone to do the job for you.

 

Make it Look Attractive

A community garden should be a place where anyone from the community can come to enjoy the beauty and the peace that the garden affords. Spend time and resources planning the space to be not only a place to grow plants, but a place to sit and enjoy a chat with a neighbor. Consider placing inviting benches and a table to encourage repose.

 

Make it Functional

Equally as important as the beauty of the space is the functionality of the space. The best community gardens are those that are sectioned out into specific plots that homeowners can rent out for the summer. These plots should be raised both to accommodate older residents, and to keep weeds from taking root in the gardens.

 

Protect the Plants and Plots

Even a small bunny can cause havoc in a garden. To prevent them, and other critters, from munching on the plants, install a fence around the area. To help further protect the plants, it will also be necessary to establish a few basic ground rules and posting them near the entrance to the garden.

 

Install Sprinklers

Not everyone has a green thumb, and many people travel during the summer season. To help everyone in the community out, it may be helpful to install a sprinkler or soaking system to ensure that each plot is getting the moisture that it needs even if the owner of the plot is out of town or forgets to visit the garden.

 

Set up a Sharing Page

There is nothing more neighborly than sharing the bounty of a harvest. One excellent idea is to set up a sharing page on Facebook where owners of the plots in the community garden can go to find or share produce that has been grown in the garden. That way, if one plot has a bounty of squash or cucumbers, they can be shared with the whole community.

 

Having a community garden is a great way to beautify your neighborhood and bring people together during the summer. Use these tips to get started, and you will be well on your way to a community garden.

Five Ways for Your HOA to Make Extra Money

At times, the expenses of an HOA can exceed the amount that is brought in by monthly HOA fees. As a result, residents can be hit with special assessments which can be a shock to homeowners and a large blow to community moral. However, if your HOA board is hardworking and creative, it can find many ways to bring in extra money without unduly burdening homeowners. Here are five ways for your HOA to make extra money and boost your budget in the coming years.

 

Rent Out Your Clubhouse

If you have a clubhouse, it can be a great asset for bringing in extra funds to your homeowners association. The clubhouse can be used for birthday parties, business meetings, baby showers, fundraisers, and many other events. If the space is not already being used, consider making it available, and advertise so that the community is aware of its availability.

 

Advertise in Your Newsletter

Your monthly newsletter can be a great way to bring in a little extra money each month. Reach out to local businesses and offer the space to them for advertisement. Businesses can pay your HOA for space in which to put advertisements or coupons, and can in turn grow their customer base.

 

Allow a Cellular Tower

There are both pros and cons to allowing a cellular tower on unused roof space. One of the pros, however, is having a little extra cash each month. It can bring in up to $3,000 a month to your association. In addition to the rental fee, your HOA can gain by having superior cell service on your property .

 

Use Your Surrounding Environment

Take a moment to consider the natural area around your community and try to think of ways that you can utilize the space that you often take for granted to make money. Do you have a hill that can be opened for community sledding, or a river or lake that can be used for rafting or fishing? Is there a nice plot of land that can be rented out to the community or residents for a community garden? Do not let these natural features go to waste.

 

Think About Storage, Parking Spaces, and Other Underused Areas

If there are spaces in your community that are currently going unused such as a parking area or empty buildings or sheds, it is time to think about how these areas can be used to start generating income. Transform empty buildings into storage units that can be used by residents or anyone in the community. Rent out parking spaces, and see if there are any indoor areas that can be rented out by teachers for fitness or art classes.

 

There are many ways that an HOA board can use current assets and amenities to begin making extra money for the community. All it takes is a little bit of thinking outside the box, and the  willingness to put in a small amount of time and effort. Use these five ways to start the process of earning extra income. The homeowners in your community will thank you!

What is the Difference Between HOA, POA, and COA?

If you are looking to purchase a home you may be confused by the overwhelming multitude of terminology and acronyms that exist in the world of real estate. When it comes to HOAs, POAs, and COAs, it is important to understand the difference. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, this is actually a mistake as there is a significant difference between the three and how they function.

 

Homeowners Association (HOA)

A homeowners association is usually comprised of a group of similar homes and residences along with the common areas and property that is shared by the community as a whole. HOAs usually conform to a strict set of regulations, and requires all residents to likewise adhere to these regulations. Rules regarding anything from appearance of homes to number and type of pet are established to improve the quality of life of all of the residents. The aim of the HOA is to create a beautiful and comfortable community that helps to raise overall property values in the neighborhood. Although these rules can seem quite strict, they are agreed to and usually appreciated by the members of the community as they dramatically increase the desirability of the area. Members of an HOA can expect their fees to assist in the upkeep of pools or other common amenities, as well as opportunities to connect with other homeowners.

 

Condominium Owners Association (COA)

A COA is specific to owners of condominiums. Owners that are a part of these associations own their specific condominium and then share the ownership of the grounds and the building among other condominium owners.

Members of a COA can expect their fees to go towards the basic maintenance and repairs on the property as well as the care of any common areas such as the upkeep of lawns and snow removal.

 

Property Owners Association (POA)

The biggest difference between a POA and COAs or HOAs is its primary function and goals. Whereas the focus of an HOA is entirely residential, a POA can govern multiple types of property such as residential and business. The goal of a POA is to improve an entire area, neighborhood, or even an entire town. POAs can implement zoning restrictions, undertake development projects, and beautify community areas. POAs often focus their attention more on the overall health of the community by engaging in plans to develop businesses and increase property values across a large area.

If you are purchasing a home, you may actually find that a home is part of an HOA and a POA. It is helpful to ask if this is the case before purchasing the home and if there are any additional fees.

 

POAs, HOAs, and COAs can be extremely beneficial. If you are looking for a home, considering one that is part of one of these associations can ensure that you live in a community that is well-loved by all of its residents and will be sure to gain in value.

Which HOA Documents Take Precedence Over the Others?

What do you do if one of your HOA’s governing documents conflicts with another document or with your state or national rights? Do your board members and HOA manager know how to handle this situation if a homeowner or member notices a conflict in the writing?

As an HOA board member, while it’s important to review and understand all governing documents of your association, you’ll need to know how to filter through all of the information and know which document to follow if someone finds something that’s not consistent.

In case this does happen, use this hierarchy guide to help decide which rules come out on top.

1. Federal and State Laws and Statutes

Keep in mind these laws and statutes take precedence over your HOA’s governing documents. Examples would be the Americans with Disability Act and the Fair Housing Act.

2. Recorded Map, Plan, or Plat

A map or plat that was recorded with your association’s county before any lots were sold are next. They are there to establish maintenance responsibility and property location.

3. CC&Rs (Deed Restrictions)

Your deed restrictions are part of the owner’s document which details expectations and limitations for usage of land. These are the top priority in HOA documents, and are therefore the hardest to make amendments to.

4. Articles of Incorporation

When the HOA is legally created as a corporation, this document is filed with your association’s state.

5. HOA Bylaws

The purpose of your association’s bylaws are to establish guidelines on the association’s internal affairs. You’ll find member and board requirements and record keeping guidelines in this document.

6. Board Rules/Resolutions

HOA resolutions are policies that are formally enacted and adopted regarding areas like collections, common area regulations, and covenant enforcement. Rules can only be adopted by the board if they don’t conflict with the governing documents and after they’ve been reviewed by the association’s attorney.