What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You or Your Association
Small community associations, even larger self-managed associations, might be unaware they may be ‘out of the loop’ with regard to laws constantly being modified or newly enacted in Sacramento, or in Washington D.C.
No matter how small an Association might be (a planned development, or a condominium community, incorporated, or not), the State of California deems all of them to be California Not-For-Profit-Mutual Benefit Corporations, subject to the same rules that must be followed by the largest community associations and corporations. Common interest developments (CIDs) and their Boards of Directors are held wholly responsible for knowing and following all applicable laws and Codes.
Arnold Management & Consulting, a Sonoma County-based Professional Community Association Management Firm, offers Board of Director and Leadership Training, Annual Updating on new Legislation, and general Problem Solving, on an as-needed basis.
Just a few of many questions Boards of Directors and Homeowners Association Members might ask themselves:
- Are we reviewing our financial records in accordance with new laws that took effect in 2019? How are we vulnerable if we don’t?
- Are we recording those reviews in compliance with the new laws? Are there consequences for not getting it right?
- Are our Business Meeting Minutes too detailed or not detailed enough? What about our Executive Session Minutes?
- Are we following our own Rules? Enforcing them? Updating them? Can we be sued about our rules?
- Are we careful to ensure non-selective enforcement of our Governing Documents? Who defines non-selective in our community?
- Do we have to have a Board Hearing in order to levy a fine on an Owner for breaking our community’s Rules?
- Why can’t we just levy fines on Members who are repeat offenders without extra Hearings? Can we levy a fine on the Renters when they break rules? If ‘no,’ why not?
- How can we deal with second-hand smoke issues? Dog barking issues? Feral cat issues? Homeless squatting issues?
- Can we just fill in the swimming pool we cannot afford to maintain?
- Do we have clear Architectural Control Committee (ACC) guidelines? Does our Association’s ACC application response policy meet State requirements?
- Do we have a proper Annual Elections Policy? Do we have a proper Delinquent Assessments Collections Policy?
- Are we updating and providing every Owner in our community with a proper Annual Budget Report and an Annual Policy Statement?
- Are we mailing our various Annual Documents within the mandated deadlines?
- Do we know all the points that must be contained in each of those annual documents?
- Is it time for our Association to update its Governing Documents? If so, how do we proceed? What will it cost?
- Are there alternatives to a full overhaul of the CC&Rs?
- Do we need an Annual Audit or an Annual Review of our books? Can we do our own or do we need to use a professional?
- Do we need a Reserve Study? Do we need to update it, and if so, when? How do we use the Reserve Study?
- Can we restrict rentals?
- If we need Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), how do we proceed?
- Can we engage a conflict resolution specialist to assist us with IDR as well as with ADR?
- Where do we find that person? What will it cost? Who pays?
- What do we need to disclose for Escrows when an Owner is selling? Is our Association required to maintain FHA or VA eligibility?
- When do we need to hire a Construction Manager? Do we always need Specifications? If so, who writes them?
- Are their ‘rules’ or guidelines about hiring contractors, landscapers, repairmen? Do we need a Corporate Calendar?
- Can someone other than a Board Member write the letters needed to let neighbors know they are breaking the rules?
- Do we know what we need to know if we have to have vehicles towed?
- What are the fiduciary duties of Board Members? What are their insured protections? Are there resources for Board Members wanting to be educated about serving as Directors?
- Are we ready for the new laws directed at Homeowner Associations that are coming for 2020?
Can we hire a Community Association Manager to help us on an as-needed basis?
The Answer is YES!
I invite small and self-managed community associations (residential, commercial, and mixed-use) to contact our office to explore how our firm may be of service to your community. Contact us for a complimentary review of your Association’s needs.