What is a management company; what do they do; and how do I reach them?
A management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: Collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services, providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem solving, communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors and to service in an advisor capacity. The management company reports directly to the Board and all decision are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The management company may be reached online through the Management Office page on this website or by phone from the number listed on the Contact Us page on this site. The management company may be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 425-551-4800.
What is a homeowner’s association?
It is a non-profit corporation registered with the State and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the homeowner portal. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowner association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.
What are the CC&R’s?
The covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&Rs were 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. Failure to abide by the CC&Rs may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Association. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the homeowner’s portal.
What are the Bylaws?
The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. 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 run the Association as a business. The Bylaws for the association may be viewed online through the homeowner’s portal.
What is the Board of Directors?
The Homeowner’s Association is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitations and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the Association governing documents found within the homeowner’s portal.
Are there any other rules?
Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&Rs and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will adopt Architectural Guidelines wit procedures for submitting request to make exterior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required 6to remove or correct6 the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
Are Board Meetings open to all residents? If so, where and when are they held?
Yes. Notice of the time and place of any regular board meeting will be provided.
What is my assessment?
The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Your assessment are usually due on the first of the month. Statements will be sent for assessments as a reminder of the amount due and when due.
What happens if I don’t pay my assessment?
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments dues from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge as assessments are usually due on the first of the month. In addition, the CC&Rs allows the association to charge late charges and interest and proceed with a lien on your property, or foreclosure proceeding for nonpayment of assessments.
So may homeowners come to our meetings that by the time we get to the business section of the meeting we are tired and rushed? What can we do?
This is a common issue and there are several steps you can take to improve your meetings. It is best to have scheduled Homeowners forum. Remember you are running a corporation and in the State of Washington and as such, you have numerous issues that must be handled, by law. It’s a big responsibility.
We recommend that the board begin to set the state by clearly publishing the following on top of the agenda.
- The board must post the subjects that are on the agenda
- Homeowners may bring up items not on the agenda and the board/management may respond, but cannot act on an item not on the agenda unless it is an emergency that arose after the agenda was distributed.
- Boards may refer informational matters and administrative tasks to its manager or staff
Next, schedule the Homeowners Forum on the agenda. There are pros and cons to doing it at the beginning or end of the meeting, so that is an individual board’s preference.
Be sure to set a time limit for the forum (usually 30 minutes) and for individual comments (three minutes)
It is best to have “Homeowner Forum-Requests to Speak” forms available and an Attendance sheet, asking each attendee to sign in when they arrive.
Following these steps sets a tone of professionalism for the meeting (similar to a City Council meeting), and lets the homeowners know that the comments will be heard, but in an orderly and controlled fashion.
The deadline to mail the budget is fast approaching and we just cannot get everyone together to review it in time. Should we just mail it late?
Because your budget mailing includes more than just the budget itself, and in order to comply with the Governing Documents, we recommend you simply mail the current budget along with the required disclosure items until you have time to finalize a new one. As soon as it is finalized, you can mail it and give a minimum of 30 days before you adopt a new assessment, if necessary.