Often times we know our rights and responsibilities of being a Mom or a Dad, we know them for when we are in our workplace, we know what they are to live in Colorado…but do we really know what our rights and responsibility are a Homeowners? Take a look at the list below to see what you can do to make your Community a better place to live!
You have the right to…
- A responsive and competent Community Association. As a member of a Homeowners Association or Condo Association, you are entitled to have your issues addressed and correspondence answered.
- Honest, fair, and respectful treatment by Community leaders and Managers. Community Associations can only function properly in a climate of mutual respect. Homeowners must be treated with respect by the Board members who represent them and the Managers who operate on the Board’s behalf, and so too must Homeowners treat these parties with respect.
- Participate in governing the Community Association by attending meetings, serve on committees, and run for election. Committee members and Board members are Homeowners who are elected to their positions. Without Community volunteers stepping forward to serve, an Association can’t function.
- Access appropriate Association books and records. Documents like meeting minutes, reserve studies, the Association’s budget and other important records should be available at your request. Most Association’s host these documents on the Community’s website.
- Prudent expenditure of fees and other assessments. Your assessment dues should be applied appropriately and in a timely manner.
- Live in a Community where the property is maintained according to established standards. You’ve chosen to live in a Community Association for many reasons, and one of those is likely the knowledge that well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing properties increases everyone’s values in the neighborhood.
- Fair treatment regarding financial and other Association obligations, including the opportunity to discuss payment plans and options before the association takes any legal action, and the right to appeal decisions. Nobody is above the Association’s rules, and everyone is entitled to fair and equal treatment under the governing documents.
- Receive all documents that address rules and regulations governing the Community Association—if not prior to purchase and settlement, then upon joining the Community. Without knowing the rules and regulations, how can Homeowners follow them? Potential Homeowners would do well to obtain a copy of the rules and regulations prior to purchasing, but should absolutely be provided them once they’ve joined the Community.
You also have the responsibility to . . .
- Maintain your property according to established standards. The Community’s overall aesthetic appeal relies on the cooperation of each Homeowner and resident, so it’s important to follow the established rules and guidelines.
- Treat association leaders with honesty and respect. Board members are volunteers, and as such, they are not being paid for their service to the Community. Just as you expect to be treated fairly and with respect as a Homeowner, Board members expect and deserve the same courtesy.
- Read and comply with the governing documents of the Community. It’s important to be knowledgeable of the Community’s rules and regulations not only so you can follow them, but so you ensure that your guests, visitors and tenants do too.
- Vote in Community elections and on other issues. Community Associations require input from all Homeowners in the Community in order to be fully representative of its members’ needs and desires. You can make your voice heard by joining a committee, running for an elected Board position or by simply voting on Community issues as they arise.
- Pay Association assessments and charges on time. Your Association cannot operate without financial capital, so it’s important that you pay your assessments on time and in full, just as you expect your neighbors to.
- Contact Association leaders or Managers, if necessary, to discuss financial obligations and alternative payment arrangements. While it’s your responsibility to ensure that your assessments are paid, it’s also understandable when something unexpected happens and life gets in the way. However, it’s your responsibility as a Homeowner to communicate to the Board when these hardships arise so a payment plan or other arrangement can be agreed upon.
- Provide current contact information to the Association so you receive all information from the Community. It’s important that your Association’s leaders and Management Company know how to get in contact with you, especially if you don’t live on-site and rent your house or condo to a tenant. Because property ownership is the determining factor in membership within an Association, as long as you hold the title, you are the one responsible for ensuring all the Association’s rules are followed in regard to your property.
The list for rights and responsibilities for better communities can be found at CAIonline.org