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Association Terminology

WHO'S WHO

General Manager
  • Advise and provide administrative, managerial, and operational counsel to the association governing body
  • Exhibit professionalism and loyalty to the principal (the Board)
  • Exercise diligence in performing duties on the principals behalf
  • Account for financial activities of the Association
  • Perform on site property inspections
  • Solicit and evaluate bids for association services
  • Supervise maintenance activities and contractor performance
  • Oversee and authorize payment for primary association services
  • Know and abide by the Governing Documents, recognizing the State agency that supervises the community associations
The Board of Directors

President
  • Chief executive officer and leader of the association
  • Preside at all meetings of the board and membership
  • Execute legal documents on behalf of the association
  • Set meeting agendas and control all meetings
  • Represent the board before the residents
  • May have nominating and appointment responsibility for all committees

Vice President
  • Perform all of the duties of the President in his/her absence
  • Typically share some of the burden of the President regarding appearances, liaison, public hearings, etc.
  • Assign liaison responsibility to specific staff or contractors, and to specific committees
Secretary
  • Prepare and distributes board and membership meeting agendas, minutes, and materials referred to in minutes
  • Maintain minutes and book on all meetings
  • Maintain book of resolutions
  • Maintain all official records, including official correspondence, contracts, membership roster, etc.
  • Receive, verify, and maintain all proxies
  • Attest, by signature, to the legitimacy of certain documents
Treasurer
  • Develop annual operating budget with appropriate staff, contractors, and committees and submit annual operating budget for approval
  • Maintain adequate records of all association financial transactions
  • Maintain roster of disbursement of funds, as authorized
  • Prepare period financial reports
  • Arrange an independent audit of financial affairs, subject to board approval

PERSPECTIVES OF BOARD, HOMEOWNER, AND MANAGER

Board of Directors Perspective
  • Maintain the value of the property and a good quality of life for the residential community
  • Govern efficiently
  • Enforce rules
  • Establish and keep budget
Homeowners Perspective
  • Care about residences
  • Need service from manager and decisions from Board that will provide a good quality of life
  • Possibly create problems with unrealistic expectations; this can occur when interests are too specialized or unique
Managers Perspective
  • Operate in balance with homeowners, board, and management office
  • Problem-solve
  • Multi-task important duties

GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

  • All documents that regulate the community life
  • Documents may vary depending on type of Association (townhome, etc.)       
    • State law
    • Declaration of Covenants or Master Deed
    • Conditions and Restrictions
    • Covenants Enforcement Policy
    • Bylaws
    • Rules and Regulations
    • Plats of Survey and Easement Agreements (may be separate, often included in the declaration)
    • Compliance Requests: What Should You Do If You Receive One?

BASIC RESIDENT LEGAL DOCUMENTS

Basic Resident Legal Documents
  • The basis for allocation of percentage ownership interest
  • The obligation of each owner to share in funding the cost of association operations
  • The power, authority, and responsibility of the association in its operations and in making and enforcing rules
  • Individual Unit Deeds-comprises the individual unit deed
  • Articles of Incorporation-creates the association as a corporation under state corporate statute and defines its membership and sets forth the process for creating the board of directors, voting procedures, etc.
  • Bylaws-implements, in specific detail, the provisions of the Declaration and the Articles of Incorporation regarding the association operations, including delineation of the meeting process, election procedures, powers and duties, board meetings, committees, insurance requirements, rule-making and enforcement process
  • Rules and Regulations-sets forth the operational powers or provisions and the use restrictions adopted by the association

APPLICABLE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS

  • Prohibition against racial discrimination as stated by the Civil Rights Act of 1966
  • Equal Credit Opportunity
  • Fair Housing Amendments Acts, 1988, applies to sale of residence
  • Does not prohibit discrimination by owners, if selling or renting as long as they own 3 or less homes
  • Board is prohibited from discrimination in exercising its 1st right of refusal
  • Persons with disabilities (at own expense) must be allowed to make accommodations per the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1993

ACCOUNTING BASICS

  • Modified-Accrual Method of Accounting - Combines some elements of cash and accrual methods.  For community associations, this usually involves recording assessment fees on an accrual basis and most expenses on a cash basis.  Community Associations rarely use a full accrual system.  Modified accrual systems are implemented more frequently.  Only the major balance sheet accounts, such as assessments receivable and accounts payable, are established under the modified-accrual system.  Expenses such as prepaid insurance and all minor payables and accrued expenses are not set up.  A modified-accrual system generally provides reasonable financial information without the commitment of major cost or time.
  • Capital Reserves-the Board has the obligation to repair and replace major capital facilities, buildings, and equipment of the association. The ideal method of providing for these future expenses is the establishment of a capital reserves system and budget to assure that such funds are available when needed. With knowledge that the future holds predictable major expenditures for repair and replacement of facilities and equipment, the association could begin the gradual accumulation of funds through a reserve account to meet all or a portion of that expense when it comes due.


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