• Take your HOA from Good to Great

      How do you go from Good to Great? Learn the Principals for Community Association Success (Article Provide by CAI)

      Principles for Community Association Success
      » Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities
      » Community Association Governance Guidelines
      » Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members
      »Community Association Fundamentals

      Perhaps the greatest achievement for any association is creating and
      sustaining a sense of community among residents and leaders. This goal is
      best achieved when homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders
      recognize and embrace their rights and responsibilities. It was with this goal in
      mind that CAI developed Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities. These
      principles can serve as an important guidepost for board and committee members,
      community managers, homeowners and non-owner residents.
      Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities
      Principles for Homeowners and Community Leaders

      Homeowners have the right to:

      1.    A responsive and competent community association.
      2.    Honest, fair and respectful treatment by community leaders and managers.
      3.    Participate in governing the community association by attending meetings,
      serving on committees and standing for election.
      4.    Access appropriate association books and records.
      5.    Prudent expenditure of fees and other assessments.
      6.    Live in a community where the property is maintained according to established standards.
      7.    Fair treatment regarding financial and other association obligations,
      including the opportunity to discuss payment plans and options with
      the association before foreclosure is initiated.
      8.    Receive all documents that address rules and regulations governing
      the community association—if not prior to purchase and settlement
      by a real estate agent or attorney, then upon joining the community.
      9.    Appeal to appropriate community leaders those decisions affecting
      non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights.

      Homeowners have the responsibility to:
      1.    Read and comply with the governing documents of the community.
      2.    Maintain their property according to established standards.
      3.    Treat association leaders honestly and with respect.
      4.    Vote in community elections and on other issues.
      5.    Pay association assessments and charges on time.
      6.    Contact association leaders or managers, if necessary, to discuss financial
      obligations and alternative payment arrangements.
      7.    Request reconsideration of material decisions that personally affect them.
      8.    Provide current contact information to association leaders or managers to help
      ensure they receive information from the community.
      9.    Ensure that those who reside on their property (e.g., tenants, relatives and
      friends) adhere to all rules and regulations.

      Community leaders have the right to:
      1.    Expect owners and non-owner residents to meet
      their financial obligations to the community.
      2.    Expect residents to know and comply with the
      rules and regulations of the community and to stay
      informed by reading materials provided by the association.
      3.    Respectful and honest treatment from residents.
      4.    Conduct meetings in a positive and constructive atmosphere.
      5.    Receive support and constructive input from owners
      and non-owner residents.
      6.    Personal privacy at home and during leisure time in the community.
      7.    Take advantage of educational opportunities (e.g.,
      publications, training workshops) that are directly
      related to their responsibilities and as approved by the association.

      Community leaders have the responsibility to:
      1.    Fulfill their fiduciary duties to the community and
      exercise discretion in a manner they reasonably
      believe to be in the best interests of the community.
      2.    Exercise sound business judgment and follow
      established management practices.
      3.    Balance the needs and obligations of the community
      as a whole with those of individual homeowners and residents.
      4.    Understand the association’s governing documents,
      become educated with respect to applicable state
      and local laws and manage the community association accordingly.
      5.    Establish committees or use other methods to obtain
      input from owners and non-owner residents.
      6.    Conduct open, fair and well-publicized elections.
      7.    Welcome and educate new members of the
      community—owners and non-owner residents alike.
      8.    Encourage input from residents on issues affecting
      them personally and the community as a whole.
      9.    Encourage events that foster neighborliness and a sense of community.
      10.  Conduct business in a transparent manner when feasible and appropriate.
      11.  Allow homeowners access to appropriate
      community records when requested.
      12.  Collect all monies due from owners and non-owner residents.
      13.  Devise appropriate and reasonable arrangements,
      when needed and as feasible, to facilitate the ability
      of individual homeowners to meet their financial obligations to the community.
      14.  Provide a process residents can use to appeal
      decisions affecting their non-routine financial
      responsibilities or property rights—where permitted
      by law and the association’s governing documents.
      15.  Initiate foreclosure proceedings only as a measure of last resort.
      16.  Make covenants, conditions and restrictions as
      understandable as possible, adding clarifying “lay”
      language or supplementary materials when drafting or revising the documents.
      17.  Provide complete and timely disclosure of personal
      and financial conflicts of interest related to the
      actions of community leaders, e.g., officers, the board and committees.


      (Community associations may want to develop a code of ethics.)
      EVERY COMMUNITY has its own history, personality,
      attributes and challenges, but all associations share common
      characteristics and core principles. Good associations
      preserve the character of their communities, protect
      property values and meet the established expectations
      of homeowners. Great associations also cultivate
      a true sense of community, promote active homeowner
      involvement and create a culture of informed consensus.
      The ideas and guidance conveyed in this brochure
      speak to these core values and can, with commitment,
      inspire effective, enlightened leadership and responsible, engaged citizenship.