Frequently Asked Questions

Q.

What are CC&Rs?

A.

CC&Rs refer to a document recorded at the County Recorders Office that buyers must receive before the close of escrow. CC&Rs set forth restrictions on the use of every home within a homeowner association (HOA). They are binding on every owner whether the owner reads them or not. Consequently, it is important that all owners read and understand them.

Q.

What are Bylaws?

A.

Bylaws refer to a document that sets forth the rules dealing with the running of the homeowner association. Bylaws deal with the subjects of elections, the calling of meetings and powers and limitations of the board of directors. Every owner should read and understand them.

Q.

What is a Community Association?

A.

A Community Association refers to the non-profit mutual benefit corporation that was formed to run your community association or homeowner association.

Q.

What are assessments?

A.

Assessments are the dues that each member of an association must pay, usually each month, to pay for the maintenance and repairs of the common area and other necessary costs such as insurance. The amount of your assessments is determined by vote of the board of directors and sometimes by a vote of the owners.

Q.

When are my monthly assessments due?

A.

Assessments are due on the first day of each month and are delinquent if not received by the management company within 15 days after the due date, unless the CC&Rs specify a later date. A late fee will be charged on late payments.

Q.

What are the governing documents?

A.

The CC&Rs, Bylaws, Rules, and Articles of Incorporation are the governing documents.

Q.

Are pets allowed?

A.

Yes, however the CC&Rs include restrictions on pets. Owners and prospective owners should read the CC&Rs to determine the restrictions.

Q.

What should I do if I am required to make an insurance claim against the association's insurance polity?

A.

You must contact the management company who will contact the board of directors. The board will determine whether the claim is covered by the association’s insurance policy.

Q.

Can owners attend board meetings?

A.

Absolutely. Owners are welcome at all board meetings, but may not (by law) attend executive sessions except under certain circumstances.

Q.

What are executive sessions of the board?

A.

Executive sessions are private sessions during which only the following subjects may be discussed:

  • Legal matters,

  • Formation of contracts,

  • Disciplinary matters, and / or

  • Employment matters.

Q.

May I, as an owner, participate in board meetings?

A.

Owners may attend board meetings, but only the board participates in the meetings with one exception. Owners are given the opportunity to address the board at a predetermined time during each meeting. All owners must be given equal time.

Q.

May I rent my home?

A.

You may rent your home subject to the restrictions set forth in the CC&Rs and Rules of your association. You should read the CC&Rs and Rules before you purchase a property and before you rent it yourself or to another person.

Q.

What should I do before selling my home?

A.

You should do the following:

  1. Make certain that your agent has copies of the association's Rules, Bylaws and CC&Rs;

  2. Make certain that your agent visits this website;

  3. Make certain that you carefully review the property disclosure form with your agent so that your disclosure is completely accurate; and above all

  4. Make certain you select an agent that has experience with common interest developments like your association.

Q.

Can I run for the board?

A.

Absolutely. You must complete a Nomination Application Form before the next election in accordance with the Rules and Bylaws of your association.

Q.

What should I do first if I am elected to the board of directors?

A.

You should read the following:

  • Bylaws of the association;

  • CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions);

  • Rules (if applicable);

  • Contract with management company;

  • Contracts with other service providers;

  • Latest Reserve Study;

  • Most recent budget;

  • Minutes of board meetings for last twelve months;

  • Minutes of the last annual meeting of members;

  • Monthly financial reports for the last twelve months;

  • Insurance policies of the association; and

  • Inspection reports made over the last twelve months.

 

While this may appear to be a large project, keep in mind that your home is probably your largest and most important asset. Being a member of the board of your homeowner association is one excellent way to protect this important investment.

Remember, as a board member you participate in the following important decisions:

  • Establishing the association’s budget, reserves, and assessments;

  • Selecting the contractors and vendors that provide services to your association;

  • Determining the level of maintenance for your association common areas; and

  • Establishing and enforcing association rules.

 

If you don't become a board member, someone else will make these and other important decisions that will affect the value of your property and the quality of your community.

Q.

May I install a satellite dish?

A.

Yes. However, you may not attach it to the common area or make holes in the common area for wires. You may install a satellite dish on exclusive use common area or on your separate interest according to law. Be certain to read the CC&Rs before making any architectural improvements.

Q.

What do I do if I want to make architectural improvements to my property?

A.

You must complete an "Application for Architectural Improvements" and submit it to the board for approval. Be absolutely certain to read the CC&Rs before making any architectural changes. You must also obtain any required building permits.

Q.

What is the difference between a condominium and a planned development?

A.

When you own a condominium, you own a separate interest called a unit plus an undivided interest in common area. When you own a planned development, you own a lot plus (generally) an undivided interest in common area. Common area is the property generally owned as tenants in common with the other homeowners. Examples include any swimming pool, private streets and green belt areas. Your CC&Rs define the common areas and your separate interest.

Q.

Can the CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules be changed?

A.

Absolutely.

Q.

Do all board members have an equal vote on all matters?

A.

Yes.

 

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