What is a Homeowners Association?
The Association is a legal corporation organized and incorporated under the laws of California. The Association has Articles of Incorporation that entitle the association to exercise powers of a corporation. By purchasing a home within your community association, you automatically become a member of the association and will remain so for as long as you own your home. Membership in the association is mandatory and automatic for all owners. The deed to each Unit specifically designates that the property owner will comply with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s) of the association. You should have received a copy of these documents at the time your home purchase was closed by the title company. As a property owner in a community association, you will be required to pay assessments, abide by the community’s rules and restrictions and maintain those areas of your home for which you are responsible.
What is a Common Interest Development?
The term “common interest development” (CID) describes a form of real estate and home ownership that gives individual owners access to common property and facilities. A CID typically includes an operating entity in the form of a non-profit mutual benefit corporation, registered with the State of California and governed by an elected Board of Directors.
As mandated by the Department of Real Estate (BRE), a CID also provides a system of self-governance through an association of homeowners within the CID. The purpose and benefit of an association is to enhance residents’ community life by maintaining the integrity and appearance of common areas, and by ensuring the quality of provided amenities and services.
What are the Benefits of Association Living?
Homeowner Associations enhance residents’ community experience by providing access to well-maintained amenities, preserving community standards, and providing opportunities for social and recreational involvement. As a resident, you can enhance the experience as well. A viable, vibrant community is one where homeowners play an active part, not only by fulfilling basic association obligations but also by running for elected offices, serving on committees and participating in group activities. Governing documents lay the logistical foundation, but involved homeowners build the vision and spirit of a community.
What is a Board of Directors?
The Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining the assets of the community, ensuring the financial health of the association, determining the level of services, and establishing policies and/or rules and regulations governing the use of the common areas. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the association and to provide leadership in community affairs as dictated by the Governing Documents. This includes timely collection of assessments as well as payments made for services provided to the Association. In general, the Board Members are the decision makers for the Association. The Board of Directors is made up of individual homeowners who own property within the Association and who are elected to that position by the members of the Association. All affairs of a Homeowners Association are governed by the Board of Directors.
What does the Board of Directors actually do?
The Board of Directors is made up of unpaid volunteer homeowners that own a home in your community. The Board of Directors is tasked with maintaining, preserving, and enhancing the common elements of the community. In order to perform those duties, the Board depends upon the advice and counsel of experts in various fields of HOA and Community management. Those include the management company, the association attorney, landscapers, maintenance personnel, insurance specialists, etc.
When making decisions in the interest of the Association, the Board must consider all the facts and factors involved with that issue and make the best business decision for the community possible. Though sometimes it may not appear to those not on the Board that the decision is in the best interest of all owners, however all owners aren’t privy to the information reviewed by the Board to support those decisions.
In addition to the insurance, maintenance, financial and contractual decisions, the Board must also balance their position on the Board with their role as a homeowner. When assessments are increased that means they have to pay the increased assessment as well. If rules are enacted, they must also obey them. Being a Board member does not give immunity to the rules or obligations of a homeowner.
Please keep in mind that Board members are performing a “double duty” as both a Board member and homeowner with the responsibility of maintaining the values of the property for all homeowners.
What power does the Board of Directors have?
By statute, corporations must have boards of directors. The powers delegated to boards generally include, but are not limited to the following: manage the association; adopt and enforce rules and regulations; enforce the CC&Rs and Bylaws; contract for services; levy and collect regular assessments; levy and collect special assessments up to 5% without membership approval; levy and collect emergency special assessments; pay expenses incurred by the association; prepare and adopt budgets; repair and maintain the common areas; insure the association; disburse reserve money; invest funds; call membership meetings and appoint inspectors of election; appoint and remove officers; appoint directors to fill vacancies; establish and dissolve committees and initiate and defend litigation.
Who Can Run For The Board of Directors? How Do I Run?
Generally, any member of an Association who is in good standing (no delinquent dues, no outstanding violations) may run for the Board of Directors. Prior to the Annual Board Election, the Management Company will mail a call for candidacy form to all members. Simply fill out the form and return it to the management office. Board members are elected for one year terms.
How do I get Involved in my Community?
All homeowners are encouraged to participate as non-profit entities rely on volunteer support. There are many opportunities within community associations to become involved. Community associations often have a social committee, landscape committee, rules and regulations committee, architectural review committee and many others. Involvement ensures that each individual’s voice is heard and each homeowner’s ideas are considered and applied to the extent permitted. Homeowners find volunteerism affords them the opportunity to make a difference and is a great resource in forming relationships with neighbors. Please contact Management for more information on how to become involved with the Association.
What is the Role of the Management Company?
The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions 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 numbers listed on the Contact Us page on this website.
The day-to-day responsibilities of managing a community association are extensive. The management company provides associations and the homeowners they serve with assistance in crucial areas, including:
-Submitting monthly financial statements to the Board of Directors detailing collections, payments and cash flow
-Collaborating with the association’s CPA on annual audit and tax filings
-Paying vendor invoices
-Collecting monthly assessments and assisting the Board in monitoring delinquencies
-Coordinating subcontractor activities and work orders
-Guiding the proposal process between the association and qualified service providers (landscaping, pool, roofing, etc.)
-Acting as the association’s liaison between the board, homeowners, vendors, builders and oversight entities
-Providing a summary overview of association-related communications received by the management company
-Forwarding written requests and communications from homeowners to the board for further direction
-Communicating board actions, decisions and requests to the appropriate entity
-Working with the board and the association’s legal counsel to resolve issues in a timely, cost-effective manner
-Monitoring relevant state code requirements and facilitating prompt action and compliance
-Facilitating insurance coverage as needed for the association
What Is My Assessment?
The assessment is the monthly installment of the annual assessment amount due from each homeowner. This assessment is used to maintain the property that is commonly owned by the Association. The annual assessment is based upon the estimated expenses required to operate the Association and maintain the common areas and facilities (budget).
What Is Included in the Monthly Assessment?
The monthly assessments for SHPA includes the Following:
If I Want To Make Improvements or Alterations To My Unit, What Do I Need To Know?
Exterior change requests are submitted using the Architectural Request and Hold Harmless forms. Both completed forms must be submitted to SHPA per the instructions described on the forms. You must receive approval from the Association for any exterior changes or alterations are made. These forms can be found under the HOA Documents folder on the website.
Note: Changes approved by the Board of Directors and implemented by the owner become the responsibility of the owner, and are passed on to subsequent buyers unless returned to original conditions.
What Do I Need To Do If I am Selling or Refinancing My Unit?
If you are selling or refinancing your home, please contact EBMC’s escrow department at 707-584-5123. EBMC is connected to http://www.homewisedocs.com/ for your escrow needs. EBMC maintains a dedicated team of professionals to meet the needs of their clients in a timely manner specific to escrow processing. For more information or assistance, please contact EBMC.
What do I need to know if I Rent out my Home?
First of all, the monthly assessments are still the responsibility of the homeowner. Screening of tenants before rental is very important, not only to the owner, but also in consideration of the other residents. Disturbances and disorderly conduct by tenants and can result in a fine to the OWNER for their behavior. Preservation of the community as well as harmony among residents is the ultimate goal of any association. If a tenant violates these rights, the owner is expected to take the necessary measures to correct the situation. Each owner should be certain that his tenant is familiar with the Association rules and regulations.
Vacation rentals and short term rentals are not allowed. The CC&R's require a minimum 60 day lease.
Who do I Contact?
1) Common Area Problems: Problems or complaints concerning common area maintenance should be submitted to the Management Company.
2) Utility, Water, Gas, Fire Problems: Depending upon the nature of the problem or emergency contact the appropriate agency FIRST. It is best to receive immediate service in the event of these type problems, and of course, in the event of an emergency. The Management Company should also be aware of these situations as it allows for a monitor of types of problems recurring. Be sure to keep handy the emergency telephone numbers for the local companies and official agencies.
What is the HOA Responsibility to Maintain?
What are the Owners' Maintenance Responsiblities?
Owners' are responsible for maintenance of the interior of your home and all electrical, heating, plumbing and other utility fixtures situated in the home or exclusively serving the home. The Owner is also responsible to maintain their patio garden area. In addition you are responsible for the repair and replacement of any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.