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What is a Community or Homeowner’s Association and Who is in Charge of It?

  by Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President

A community or homeowner’s association is a common interest development comprised of a common area such as landscape areas, pool areas, and other recreational components that each homeowner or member shares an interest in.  Each member of the Association is required to pay assessments, which are used to maintain the common areas.  The Association is considered a non-profit mutual benefit corporation and may be either incorporated or unincorporated.

The Board of Directors consists of volunteers who are responsible for making the decisions for the Association.  In most cases, to serve as a Director an individual must own a home within the Association.  However, this can vary depending on the Director qualifications in the Association’s By-Laws.  The members of the Association elect Directors to the Board during the Association’s Annual Meeting.  The Directors then elect the Officers.

Directors have a fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interest of the Association as a whole and to abide by and enforce the Association’s governing documents. They must also abide by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act and local, state, and national regulations.  In most cases, the Board of Directors will contract with a management company such as Cardinal or employ management staff to assist them in carrying out administrative duties, however the decision-making duties remain with the Directors.

The volunteer Directors typically meet on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis, depending on the size and business of the Association.  The Association is required to post or distribute the agenda of each Board Meeting at least four days in advance so that the membership is aware of the discussion topics in advance.  Homeowners are encouraged to attend Board Meetings to be apprised of the condition and activities of the Association and are welcome to address the Board during the allotted time for the open forum that is held at each Board Meeting. Board Meeting Minutes are available to the membership upon request.

Volunteers from the community, whether serving on the Board or a Committee, are vital to the successful operation of the Association.  Membership input is also critical so that the Board can make informed decisions.

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