Who created all these rules anyway?
When your community was formed, the developer created a set of documents outlining how the Association should be run and what rules and restrictions should exist within that community. These documents include the Bylaws, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s), Articles of Incorporation, and Rules and Regulations. Along the way the Board may have created or clarified some of these restrictions and rules. At some point your Governing Documents may have been amended. It is always smart to familiarize yourself with these documents so you are aware of what is expected of you as a member of the Association.
What does Hudson Management do for my community?
The Management Companies function for your association is administrative in nature. The Board is the principle policy-making body which sets policies, standards, procedures, programs and budgets. Management's function is to carry out these board decisions.
The Board has the authority and the power to set policies and standards to carry these policies out. It may delegate its authority to implement its decisions, but it cannot delegate its responsibility to see that they are implemented and implemented properly. Management implements decisions of the Board and administers the programs, services and activities of the association within the policies and guidelines set by the board. Management serves as a liaison between the Board and the Homeowners.
What does my assessment pay for?
In order to meet the Association’s financial obligations, the Association depends upon the homeowners paying their assessments on time. The funds received from homeowners for assessments are used to pay the Associations expenses. Those expenses include landscapers, water, gas, electricity, HOA insurance, management, maintenance, etc. When homeowners fail to pay their assessments, the Board has to find ways of balancing the budget. It may include reducing services such as landscaping, or increasing assessments on the other homeowners to offset the difference.
My manager isn’t always in the office. How do I get my issue resolved?
The role of a Manager requires them to be out of the office or unavailable during business hours overseeing projects, conducting property inspections, meeting with Board members, court appearances, etc. At Hudson Management, we have assistants assigned to each property. These assistants are more than capable and willing to assist you and ensure the Manager has a full report of the situation.
The management company works on behalf of our Board of Directors to oversee
the operational issues that our association must deal with on a daily basis. One of
the most important roles that our management company has is to act as the
communication liaison between you, the homeowner, and the Board.
If you have any association related questions or have an issue that you would
like the Board to address, please take advantage of our management company's
desire to assist you and contact them. It is always more effective if your concerns
are communicated in writing and not submitted anonymously. That way there is a
written record of your concern and you can be updated on the progress in resolving
or addressing it.
Though we all try to get along with our neighbors, there are times where conflicts occur. Many homeowners will try to have the Board settle disputes. The Board’s powers here are limited to issues directly related to the HOA. We always encourage neighbors to try to work things out. This is the best way to preserve the neighbor relationship. Here are some helpful tips to maintain that relationship.
Say hello. At the mailbox, while walking the dog or when you see a moving van arrive, introduce yourself. Learn your neighbors’ names and regularly offer a friendly greeting.
Provide a heads up. If you’re planning a construction project, altering your landscaping or hosting a big party, contact your neighbors beforehand.
Do unto others. Treat neighbors as you would like to be treated. Be considerate about noise from vehicles, stereos, pets, etc.
Know your differences. Make an effort to understand each other. Differences in age, ethnic background and years in the neighborhood can lead to different expectations or misunderstandings.
Consider the view. Keep areas of your property that others can see presentable.
Appreciate them. If the neighbors do something you like, let them know. They’ll be pleased you noticed, and it’ll be easier to talk later if they do something you don’t like.
Staypositive. Most people don't try to create problems. If a neighbor does something that irritates you, don’t assume it was deliberate.
Talk honestly. Tolerance is important, but don’t let a real irritation go because it seems unimportant or hard to discuss. Let your neighbors know if something they do annoys.
Be respectful. Talk directly to your neighbors if there’s a problem. Gossiping with others can damage relationships and create trouble.
Remain calm. If a neighbor mentions a problem they have with you, thank them for the input. You don’t have to agree or justify any behavior. Wait for any anger to subside before responding.
Listen carefully. When discussing a problem, try to understand your neighbor’s position and why he or she feels that way.
Take your time. Take a break to think about what you and your neighbor have discussed. Arrange to finish the conversation at another time.
What happens if I don't pay my assessment?
The Associations budget is created using the paid assessments as income. If homeowners don’t pay their assessments, it causes the HOA or Community to be short on income to cover the expenses. Much like an individual’s personal budget, the Association can’t pay their expenses unless they receive the calculated income.
When a homeowner fails to pay their assessments, the Association has an obligation to follow the Collection Policy as stated in the CC&R’s. Those steps usually include assessing a Late Fee, potentially filing a Lien on the property, and ultimately foreclosing on the home. Though your Board doesn’t want to go to such extremes, they are obligated to collect on owed dues.
Why do I need to get Board approval for making changes to my home or landscape?
Most governing documents require the Association Board or Architectural Committee approve proposed architectural and landscape changes. Membership in an HOA or Community Association requires acknowledgment of existing conditions and regulations. One of the best advantages to this is the protection of the property values which is directly impacted by the appearance of the community as a whole. Regulating such changes allows the Association to better protect the property values.
Why do my assessments increase?
Though Civil Code allows for a 20% increase annually without a vote of the homeowners, most Boards work very hard at keeping costs down and trying to avoid large increases in assessments. The reality is that during the years, the vendors increase their costs; the utilities increase their costs, etc. If the HOA doesn’t increase the assessments, they will quickly run out of money to maintain the Community. As a community ages the cost of maintenance also increases.
When you buy into an HOA, you agree to share the costs as described in the governing documents. If the HOA doesn’t maintain the property, it will have a direct effect on your property value.
What does the Board of Directors actually do?
The Board of Directors is made up of unpaid volunteer homeowners that own a home in your community. The Board of Directors is tasked with maintaining, preserving, and enhancing the common elements of the community. In order to perform those duties, the Board depends upon the advice and counsel of experts in various fields of HOA and Community management. Those include the management company, the association attorney, landscapers, maintenance personnel, insurance specialists, etc.
When making decisions in the interest of the Association, the Board must consider all the facts and factors involved with that issue and make the best business decision for the community possible. Though sometimes it may not appear to those not on the Board that the decision is in the best interest of all owners, however all owners aren’t privy to the information reviewed by the Board to support those decisions.
In addition to the insurance, maintenance, financial and contractual decisions, the Board must also balance their position on the Board with their role as a homeowner. When assessments are increased that means they have to pay the increased assessment as well. If rules are enacted, they must also obey them. Being a Board member does not give immunity to the rules or obligations of a homeowner.
Please keep in mind that Board members are performing a “double duty” as both a Board member and homeowner with the responsibility of maintaining the values of the property for all homeowners.
Why am I responsible for this “Exclusive Use” area and what does that even mean?
In certain Associations, homeowners are allowed exclusive use of certain areas. These areas are not part of their “Residential Unit” but can be used exclusively by them. These areas usually include balconies and patios, however there are other areas. What this means is that the structure is still part of the common area that the HOA is ultimately responsible for, however usually the homeowner granted this Exclusive Use area is responsible for the interior surface (such as paint or deck coating). Please check your documents to see what your responsibilities are.