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What is an HOA or Homeowners Association?

A Homeowners Association, or HOA, is a legal, often non-profit entity created to manage and maintain the common areas of a community development. These common areas consist of things such as shared courtyards, walkways, elevators, landscaping and the building exterior.

HOAs can consist of a number of single family home communities, condominiums, or town homes and are defined by the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions also known as the CC&R’s.

One of the essential roles of the HOA is to enforce and ensure that these CC&Rs are adhered to by the community members. These regulations help to maintain both property values and the quality of life within a community.

Condominium Maintenance – Who is responsible for what?

Generally speaking, an owner’s responsibility extends inward from the interior walls of the unit and to those items which are of exclusive use to an owner. The rest of the development’s structures are referred to as “common areas” and are owned in partnership by all community members. Repairs and maintenance of the community property is the responsibility of the HOA. For more information in regards to rules and responsibilities specific to your development refer to your CC&Rs.

What if I don't pay my monthly HOA Dues Assessment?

Not paying your assessment dues are akin to not paying any other bills, such as a home mortgage, rent or credit card bill. If your assessment is received late or not received at all a late fee may be imposed depending upon the collection policy of your Association. If an owner continues to withhold payment, the Association can either seek legal action and/or place a lien upon the property to recover the unpaid assessments. In this case the owner will be responsible for all legal costs associated with recovering the assessments. If unresolved the Association may be able to foreclose upon the property in order to recover the outstanding balance. Check with your CC&R’s and your Association manager in respect to your State specific laws.

What do I do in the case of an after hours emergency?

Spectra Associates provides a 24/7 emergency phone number for just such events. Unfortunately, emergencies have a way of happening at the most inopportune time and for that reason it is important to work with a management company prepared for these events.

What are CAMs?

CAM stands for Common Area Maintenance and is an expense paid for by a tenant for maintenance of shared common areas used by all tenants. These items can include parking lot maintenance, lighting, landscaping, etc.

How are CAMs calculated?

Charges are estimated annually in a budget for the property and paid monthly by tenants. They are then reconciled to actual costs in the year.

Who is responsible for maintenance inside a tenant's space?

Tenants are generally responsible for maintenance inside their rented space.

Can I Change or put up a new sign?

Signage always needs to be approved by the landlord and governing authorities prior to be installed, you should always make your request in writing.

What does the Association's insurance cover?

The Association's insurance includes property and casualty policies for all common area property and equipment. (In condominium associations this includes the entire structure of the building.) It also includes Liability and Director & Officers coverage that cover Directors, Committee Members and Managers working on behalf of the Association. Note: Generally the Association Master Policy does not cover unit interiors, betterments made by the owner or personal property. You should purchase an H-O6 Condo policy to cover these items. Please check with your agent regarding your specific situation.

Where can I get a copy of the Governing Documents?

You received a copy from Escrow at or prior to closing on your home. If you need another set, it is available through your association and/or its managing agent. Your Governing Documents are recorded instruments so they are also available through the County in which your Association is located.

What are the CC&RS?

The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the legal governing documents that outline the guidelines for the operation of your planned community. CC&Rs are recorded by the County recorder’s office of the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property.

What are the Bylaws?

The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the Association. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership's voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to conduct Association business.

What is the managing agent/company's authority?

The managing agent has no authority except as conferred by the Board of Directors. The managing agent does not make decisions; it implements the decisions of the Board. 
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