Until joining your association’s board, you probably didn’t give much thought to the fact that there are a large body of documents in place that outline the roles, rules and regulations that govern your community. However, this really should come as no surprise, because communities such an HOA or condo, are afterall corporations.
The typical governing documents of a community association usually include, Articles of Incorporation, CC&Rs, or the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, ByLaws, and in many cases Architectural Guidelines..
Articles of Incorporation
The Articles of Incorporation (“Articles”) are only a few pages long. They are filed at the state level with the Secretary of State. This is the document that identifies the association as a corporation (the association is “Incorporated”). Generally, after the Articles are filed with the state, they are rarely referred to or needed in the day-to-day operation and management of the association.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs)
In contrast, the CC&Rs are recorded at the county level in which the association is located and they are very relevant to the daily life of the association.
When you buy into a community with CC&Rs, you agree to the terms of this document. With that agreement you receive certain rights and have certain obligations. You have a responsibility to follow the CC&Rs.
This document outlines restrictions on the use of your property, explains maintenance responsibilities of both owners and the association, and covers various other topics such as:
- Insurance requirements
- Dispute resolution
- Architectural issues
- Responsibilities for payment of assessments
It’s helpful to have a general understanding and to be familiar with all of the homeowners association documents to assist your board in staying compliant.