Homeowner's Association 101
FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY: The Board of Directors, Officers and Association Manager have a fiduciary relationship with the Adams Lake homeowners and is responsible for making good decisions for the association. When facing a decision, the board members should always make that which is deemed in the best interest of all of its members—and of all of its residents. More specifically, Florida Statute Section 720, which governs homeowner's association, provides in pertinent part that “The officers and directors of an association have a fiduciary relationship to the members who are served by the association.”
The board of directors and officers of the association are volunteers from the membership (owners). These are not paid positions.
Florida Statute Section 702.303.12
(12) COMPENSATION PROHIBITED.—A director, officer, or committee member of the association may not directly receive any salary or compensation from the association for the performance of duties as a director, officer, or committee member and may not in any other way benefit financially from service to the association. This subsection does not preclude:
(a) Participation by such person in a financial benefit accruing to all or a significant number of members as a result of actions lawfully taken by the board or a committee of which he or she is a member, including, but not limited to, routine maintenance, repair, or replacement of community assets.
(b) Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by such person on behalf of the association, subject to approval in accordance with procedures established by the association’s governing documents or, in the absence of such procedures, in accordance with an approval process established by the board.
(c) Any recovery of insurance proceeds derived from a policy of insurance maintained by the association for the benefit of its members.
(d) Any fee or compensation authorized in the governing documents.
(e) Any fee or compensation authorized in advance by a vote of a majority of the voting interests voting in person or by proxy at a meeting of the members.
(f) A developer or its representative from serving as a director, officer, or committee member of the association and benefiting financially from service to the association.
WHO DOES WHAT?
Association Manager is responsible for:
- Maintain communication with the board, association members/owners, and vendors
- Respond to letters and log calls from owners
- Send notices of annual meetings
- Collect assessments
- Ensure bills are paid
- Produce financial statements
- Establish a draft budget for the board and implement budget policy
- Ensure tax forms are completed and taxes are paid, as appropriate
ADVICE AND CONSULTATION
- Advise the board on governing documents
- Refer the board to other professional advisors (e.g. attorneys, CPAs, engineers)
- Research insurance coverage and process claims
- Maintain files for each member of the association/owner
- Maintain records for the association
- Process initial ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) applications
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & MAINTENANCE
- Interview, hire, supervise and terminate association employees, when necessary
- Negotiate contracts – with board approval
- Monitor contract vendors such as landscapers and custodial services
- Inspect and maintain comment elements
- Handle emergency situations
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE PROPERTY MANAGER’S DUTIES
Here are some things a property manager typically is not contracted to do. A property manager does NOT:
- Negotiate disputes between owners
- Managers may handle communications in the case of governing document violations.
- Advise on legal matters
- Managers may recommend legal advice be solicited. Attorneys should be consulted.
- Have to be available 24/7
- Managers should have procedures to handle emergencies and timely communication.
- Have to be on-site whenever contractors are on the property
- Managers should do spot checks and a final inspection with a board representative.
The Board of Directors
The directors are elected by the owners in Adams Lake and we have 3 directors. The number of directors is governed by our By-Laws.
Directors are responsible for:
- Preserving property values, Maintaining the property
- Establishing house rules and regulations
- Overseeing the organization’s finances (including collecting assessments)
- Maintaining appropriate insurance coverage for common area liability and property damage
- Keeping members informed.
Officers of the association
Please note: The board of directors can also serve as an officer in the association. However, the only position required to be chosen from the board of directors is the President. Also, the officers are appointed by the board of directors. These are not elected positions.
- Is selected by from one of the Board of Directors
- Chief executive officer and leader of the association
- Presides at all meetings of the board and membership
- Executes legal documents on behalf of the association
- Sets meeting agendas and controls all meetings
- Represents the board before the residents
- May have nominating, if not appointment, responsibility for all committees
- Performs all of the duties of the president in his/her absence
- Receives, verifies, and maintains all proxies
- Attests, by signature, to the legitimacy of certain documents
- Other duties, as assigned
- Works with management and Board to develop and submit annual operating budget
- Works with management and Board to ensure that financial records are accurate
- Work in balance with homeowners and Board
- Solve Problems
- Enhance property and quality of life for residents
Board of Directors’ Objectives
- Maintain and improve the value of the property
- Provide an environment for a good quality of life for the residential community
- Govern responsibly
- Enforce rules and regulations
- Establish and keep budget
- Schedule and preside over meetings.
- Receives & Verifies proxies
- Takes & distributes meeting minutes
- Enjoy a quality of life, understanding that living within an HOA has rewards/restrictions
- Enhance own and others property values
- Set realistic expectations: problems may arise when expectations are too high or not realistic; this can occur when interests are too specialized or unique
WHAT/WHERE ARE RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES?
- All documents that regulate owning and living at the Adams Lake Homeowners Association
- Specifically, Adams Lake Homeowners Association By-Laws and CCRs
- Other rules as mandated by Board of Directors
Basic HOA Legal Documents
- Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCRs)-defines the units, common and limited common elements, and is the collection of covenants imposed on the property to provide for:
- The obligation of each owner to share in funding the cost of association operations
- The power, authority, and responsibility of the Adams Lake Homeowners Association in its operations
- The power, authority, and responsibility of the Association in making/enforcing rules
- 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