Who do I call if I have a question or concern? I know the builder or my neighbor is a board member – should I call them?
No. The builder or board member may not have the information necessary to answer your question and they will more than likely direct you to the management company or they will contact us asking us to call you. The best course of recommended action is call or contact the Management Company directly, since they have been hired to manage the association and are actively informed and involved on all homeowner and association matters.
How did I get to be a member of the association?
Purchase of your home brought membership to the community association. Once you accepted title to the home and property you became a member of the association.
If I didn’t receive a copy of the Declarations or Indentures – then I must not be a member, right?
By accepting title to your home and property you agreed to become a member of the association. The governing documents should have been provided prior to or at closing.
How do I get a copy of the governing documents of my association?
Contact our office at 314-402-9667 or through our e-mail contact and we will supply you with a copy if they were not provided at closing.
What are the CC&R’s?
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) are the legal governing documents of the community association. They define the guidelines and operation of the community. They were recorded in the County recorders office where the property is located. Failure of homeowner’s to abide by the CC&R’s may result in association fines or legal action. CC&R’s may also be referred to as the Declarations, the Indentures of Trust, By-Laws, etc…
What are the Bylaws?
The Bylaws of the association are the guidelines of the non-profit corporation. Some associations have Bylaws and others do not. Bylaws normally stipulate voting rights, required meetings, how meetings or voting will be conducted and other specific items in relation to the association as a business.
My boat’s parked in my driveway. The county ordinance says I can have a boat but my homeowner association says I cannot park it in the driveway – they tell me I need to move it to the garage or remove it from the community. Who’s right?
It is not a question of right or wrong but rather which regulations govern. Hopefully you received a copy of the governing documents when you purchased your home that defines Restrictions. In that regard if boats parked on driveways are not allowed, than the homeowners association can most certainly enforce its Restrictions, so you may wish to move or park your boat in the garage.
Besides the Declarations or Indentures are there any other rules?
There may be and it is a good question to ask. The board may have established a set of rules in conjunction with the governing documents. Rules and Regulations are normally a bit more specific in what is allowed and what is not allowed and what consequences may result if there are violations.
There may be a set of architectural guidelines that have been adopted that partner with the governing documents. These may include more specifics like patio covers, awnings, gazebos, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes, front doors or screen doors, or extensive exterior or interior changes.
My association’s board often communicates on issues by e-mail – only board members are included in these exchanges and they refuse to include homeowners as a part of the distribution list. Is this allowed?
Yes – there is no law that prohibits communications among board members outside of a formal meeting. The e-mails may just afford a discussion and view point means in sharing or clarifying information prior to a meeting or decision making.
What is the assessment and how is it determined?
The assessment is the amount due from each homeowner that is required to serve as income or revenue for the association, which then provides for payments on any operating expenditures of the association.
The projected budget in new development or the approved budget in other associations is established in consideration of any administrative needs, insurance and professional services, common ground maintenance in the way of landscape or lawn care, irrigation, dawn to dusk lighting, and reserve funds for future planning and needs. The budget can be positively or negatively impacted by either a quicker build out or shortfalls due to a slow build out or an extreme seasonal occurrence like storms, snow or ice.
Will my assessment increase?
It’s possible. No one likes to see an increase but very often assessment amounts are established low in an effort to sell homes – they may or may not consider all the maintenance or upkeep necessary for the development – they may keep landscape or lawn care to the very basics.
The amount of the assessment is determined by the board as part of the budget process. Increases should be viewed positively, as it typically represents that your board is managing proactively and responsibly. Homeowners should question stagnant assessments – ongoing with no changes. If assessments are not keeping pace with inflation, this may indicate that the board is not implementing or approving maintenance or other services. This may also reflect a lack of reserves or under funding which can decrease property values.
What happens if I don’t pay my assessment?
The association is dependent upon timely receipt of all assessments owed by homeowners. When delinquencies occur services may have to be adjusted or eliminated, particularly if revenue or income has not been received to support it.
Late payments and late charges are normally applied – in accordance with the governing documents or as additional administrative charges by the management company for producing, processing, handling and mailing. Most association governing documents define remedy for collection, interest and attach legal fees for collection, lien filings, or foreclosure situations. The board receives a monthly delinquency report detailing any owners and payments outstanding.
There is a street light out – who do I call?
Feel free to alert us and we will notify Ameren – if possible please provide a pole number, usually located mid-section on the pole and the street or intersection where the pole is located, as well as if the pole is down or standing.
Who signs association contracts?
Board members sign association contracts.
How and when are elections determined?
The governing documents of the association normally state at what point any elections will be held and how they will be conducted. Elections are very important under fiduciary duty and it is imperative to insure that elections are handled legally.
Who should I contact to report a violation?
Contact the management company and identify the violation. They will follow-up with appropriate review, contact and correspondence.
What happens if I receive a violation notice or letter?
If you receive a notice and for some reason it has been sent in error – call and advise the management company. If the violation has been corrected immediately, you may wish to inform them as well. Normally you are given or provided a window or timeframe for correction or remedy.
If the next inspection confirms the violation remains, you may at that point find yourself faced with a hearing, a lien (all filing and legal charges applied to your account) or an imposed fine process that may escalate based on duration of violation.