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  • Writer's pictureSteven Penn

Understanding The Hierarchy of HOA Documents

Homeowners’ Associations are composed of many rules and regulations. At times the hierarchy of documents may get confusing for homeowners and board members alike. To avoid confusion or misunderstanding it is highly important as a member of the association to have a clear understanding of HOA documents.

Here is a simple breakdown for the hierarchy of HOA Documents:

1. Federal and State Laws and Statutes

The laws of the land take superiority over all other HOA documents. Federal laws are the most important, these outweigh everything else. Then come State laws, which come before local laws.

2. Recorded Map, Plan, or Plat Map, plan or plat are recorded with the county’s office. It is the recording of your entire development or community that determines maintenance responsibility and property location. It includes items such as trash enclosure specifications, exact dimensions of each unit, easements, restrictions on vehicular access, landscaping restrictions, etc.

3. CC&Rs

The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) details the rights of homeowners and the responsibilities of the HOA board members. This should be provided to each member of the association as it describes the requirements and limitations of what you can and can’t do with your property. The goal of the CC&Rs is to protect, preserve, and enhance property values in the association.

4. Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation includes essential information, such as the name of the HOA, assert that it is a nonprofit mutual-benefit corporation and identify its initial agent, the individual authorized to receive legal notices on the HOA's behalf. Some articles also contain a few basic functions of the HOA. This document, even though necessary, doesn’t consist of much. It’s filed with the state upon the formation of the association.

5. HOA Bylaws

The bylaws govern how the HOA operates and contain the information needed to run the HOA as a business. The bylaws cover matters including:

  • how often the HOA holds meetings & how they are conducted

  • the duties of the various offices of the board of directors

  • how many people are on the board, and association voting rights

6. Rules, regulations, and Resolutions

While the CC&Rs and bylaws determine the procedures and responsibilities of the HOA board, the rules and regulations focus on the day-to-day operations. This can include rules regarding pool, clubhouse, pets, and even architectural or landscaping specifications.

A resolution is a separate document created by board members constituting an official statement in writing which supports or adds weight to any decision or action made by your board. Resolutions are necessary to legitimize the operations of your board.

Homeowner associations also have many other official documents so make sure to contact management with any questions. Understanding the hierarchy of HOA docs can seem difficult but with the proper information this can be simple and become very useful. To learn more or any questions contact Alliance Association Management.

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