March 19, 2019 Education
Whether you call it a homeowner’s association or a community association, its primary role is to be there for the homeowners and their common-interest.
Once you purchase a home, condo, or townhouse that is governed by an HOA, you automatically become a member of that HOA and are responsible for paying your designated monthly HOA dues and fees. You may already know where your dues go, but others wonder… What does an HOA do?
It’s you! Well, it’s you if you are elected to the board of directors. Your HOA consists of only homeowners (and sometimes the builder, if its a new development) who oversee the running of your community and/or work with your property management company to ensure your community runs smoothly. This can be anything from managing the budget to enforcing the CC&R rules. The role of the HOA is not paid, and the homeowner volunteers who sit on the board consists of President (leader), Secretary (notes/records), Treasurer (finances), and other necessary and decided roles.
Working with your community’s needs and your property management company, your HOA decides your monthly fee by taking into consideration things like landscaping, cleaning, maintaining common areas, pool/clubhouse areas, and daily operational needs. All this varies on the amenities and lifestyle of your community.
When you become a homeowner, you are given a large amount of paperwork from your HOA that consists of your CC&Rs, your covenants, conditions, and rules. This tells each homeowner in clear detail what is expected from each homeowner to maintain your community. For example, you may not like the color of your townhouse, but you may not be allowed to paint it whatever color you want, or maybe you’re only allowed to use the HOA’s approved vendors, or perhaps there are rules for the size of dogs allowed. Since they help with the operations of your community, when a homeowner breaks the rules or perhaps delays in correcting an error, the HOA works with your community management company to enforce them by emailing/mailing out warnings and then fines. They also deal with homeowner complaints and review them accordingly, and they can create new committees to assist with new or expanding community needs.
Remember how we mentioned that the HOA consists of volunteers? Well, they must hold meetings to discuss and vote on issues relating to your community. Homeowners are invited, but there may be some meetings solely for the HOA board. You may also find your community manager there should their input be needed.
The elected Treasury takes the brunt of this work, but the HOA works together to set your monthly budget, determine and budget your reserves, determine future budget projections, and agree on costs for community management, vendors, and contractors. The HOA always has a fiduciary responsibility to the community, and they must still make the best decision on behalf of all homeowners and to preserve and/or improve the investment of your property.
Of course, they do so much more than what we’ve written here, but this is just the overview of the HOA role in your community. If you feel your HOA or your current community management company should be doing more for the homeowners, give us a call, and we can customize a plan for your community.
CC&R and Governing Docs
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Orange County, California, based Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., manages many diverse HOA’s and master planned communities in Southern California. They have added value to communities by working with HOAs, homebuilders, and land developers through their collaborative and customized approach. Crummack Huseby’s personalized philosophy to community management has allowed them to successfully discover and develop one-of-a-kind programs for new and existing communities. They offer professional business planning, governance, community management, financial only management, planning and forecasting services for community associations. They also have been recognized as One of the Best Places to Work by the Orange County Business Journal in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Founders Sandy Huseby and Margo Crummack each have more than 30 years of experience in Common Interest Development (CDI) management. Crummack Huseby Property Management obtained an AAMC® Accreditation status which highlights their focus and commitment to deliver total customer satisfaction. If you would like to learn more about Crummack Huseby Property Management Inc., they look forward to learning about your community and understanding your needs and how they can best support your community.