About Community Association Living
An association is a non-profit corporation created in order to enforce the Association Documents as well as maintain, enhance, and protect the value of common property and the neighborhood as a whole. By virtue of purchasing a home within an Association, you are a member who must pay assessments and abide by the Association Documents.
Your Association is a private, non-profit organization comprised of the individual owners in your particular development. In most cases, you are automatically a member of the Association upon purchase of property in the community. The Association is responsible for the regulation, protection, and maintenance of the shared property of the community in order to protect the investment of each individual, as well as to enhance the value of everyone’s property. Your Association’s operating funds come from the required assessments paid by each owner of the community. The Association conducts an Annual Meeting to select its Board of Directors, disseminate the Board approved budget and discuss and vote on a wide variety of Association business issues.
As an Owner, you are automatically a member of the Association in most cases and will remain so as long as you own your home. You have the right to participate in the Association at the level of involvement you choose. You can seek to be elected to the Board of Directors or appointed to a Committee, or you may prefer to only attend Association meetings and vote on issues of interest to you.
You are responsible for paying all assessments as determined annually by your Board of Directors. Assessments are the primary source of income for your Association. You will be notified of the amount of such assessments and will receive a billing (for most homeowner associations) or a monthly coupon book (for most condominium associations). From time to time, as operating expenses go up, you may see increases in your assessment. It is important to pay all assessments in a timely manner, as failure to pay could result in fines, a lien against your property, a lawsuit for payment, or even foreclosure proceedings.
You are responsible for abiding by the Rules and Regulations outlined in the legal documents you received at closing. Typically, these documents establish architectural standards, govern use of the property within the community, and require that PRIOR written approval from the Board of Directors be obtained for all modifications to the exterior appearance, additions, and structural changes. If you wish to request approval for a modification, please click here and submit your request.
You are responsible for obtaining and maintaining your own insurance coverage on your personal property and any improvements to your home or lot. The Association insurance covers only the common areas of the community. Your insurance needs should be closely examined by you because they are very different from your needs when owning your own home in a traditional single-family development. It is crucial that you contact your personal insurance agent to review the coverage required for your particular circumstances. Your Association is not responsible for obtaining or maintaining your personal insurance.
You are responsible for abiding by the rules of your Association. Each Association has rules that best meet the needs of the owners of that particular community.
In most cases, “violation” or inspection letters are simply to bring an issue to the owner’s attention. Sound Community Management does regular inspections of the communities to ensure there are no issues with the common property, any contractors that may be doing work in the common area, and to check for violations of the Association Documents. When there is an issue, you may get a notice. We understand that often, the grass is tall only because you’ve been called out of town on an emergency, or that the broken mailbox has already been ordered and will be delivered next week. Please feel free to contact us and let us know. In the rare case where an owner routinely refuses to adhere to the Association Documents, further action may be taken, but generally the notices are just to ensure that you know about the issue.
Sound Community Management completes regular community inspections. When there is a violation, a notice is sent and a reasonable amount of time is given for the owner to bring the issue into compliance. If the issue is not resolved in an appropriate number of days, subsequent letters are sent. Failure to comply after receiving three fine letters may result in having the matter referred to the Association’s attorney for enforcement of the violation and collection of the fines and legal fees incurred.
Please contact the police immediately if you are concerned about your personal safety. If you wish to file a complaint with the Association, please fill out the contact information and submit your complaint in writing. A notice will be sent to the alleged violator and you will receive a Complaint Follow Up card to be used to monitor the status of the alleged violation.
No. The Association Documents exist to protect the appearance and value of the neighborhood as a whole. The Board cannot get involved in neighbor vs. neighbor disputes that do not deal with the Association Documents or where it would not be possible for the Board to know the facts of the situation with any certainty. We recommend that many of these types of issues (pet complaints, noise, etc.) can be resolved by speaking amicably with your neighbor. If that does not help, there may be more appropriate avenues than the Board or the Association management company (i.e. animal control, police, etc.).
You or your agent will need to contact Sound Community Management so you will no longer be billed for assessments. You will also need to request a Paid Dues Letter and possibly a Condo Questionnaire (if required by your title company). In order to request a Paid Dues Letter and/or Condo Questionnaire. You may also wish to unsubscribe yourself from Association-related e-mail notices, to do this please select the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of every e-mail notice.
This is specific to each property. Please refer to your governing documents as this varies from property to property. If you need to obtain a copy of your governing documents, please submit a request to Sound Community Management.
Yes. You cannot rely on the Association’s property casualty and liability insurance policies to cover your personal property. You are urged to consult with your insurance agent to determine the appropriate level of coverage needed for your situation, in Condominiums it is referred to as an HO6 policy.
There are restrictions relative to making modifications to the common elements – the exteriors of buildings, the common grounds and some interior building components. Exterior changes or additions require owners to submit a completed Modification Request Form prior to making any architectural changes. It is helpful to be familiar with the Association Documents before submitting your application. Please note that the Board of Directors must approve your request BEFORE you begin any modification.
The Association Documents require that any modification be approved by the Board of Directors. The idea behind the restriction is to ensure that the appearance of homes remain in compliance with the Association Documents of your association. The Association Documents are in place, in part, to protect and enhance the overall property values of the Association.
About Association Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the administering and governing body of your Association. The method by which the Board is selected varies depending upon the stage of development of your particular community. Typically, communities in which fewer than 75 percent of the units are sold have their Board of Directors appointed by the developer. Once more than 75 percent of the units are sold, the Board of Directors transitions to one that is elected from the owners of the Association. Members of the Board of Directors meet regularly (usually monthly or quarterly) and serve on a voluntary basis without compensation. Often, the Board appoints committees to assist in its duties. The Board of Directors has three broad areas of responsibility and oversight: financial management, day-to-day operation, and community rules and restrictions administration.
Simply email Sound Community Management to contact the Board. Your concerns, comments or compliments will be given to your Association’s Board of Directors.
Some Boards give out their own contact information and that is their choice. However, Board members are unpaid volunteers who often give a lot of time to the association. Sound Community Management is hired as an agent of the association and is therefore the correct contact point for the Board of Directors.
The Board’s financial management responsibilities include:
- Preparing and approving the Association annual budget.
- Setting the Association assessment rate.
- Collecting the Association assessments.
- Maintaining records of receipts and expenses.
- Reconciling the Association’s accounts.
The Board’s day-to-day operation responsibilities include:
- Arranging for operation of common facilities and services.
- Maintaining and repairing all common property.
- Employing personnel as needed.
- Providing for the insurance needs of the common areas of the community.
- Establishing an effective communication system among community members.
- Receiving and handling complaints.
The Board’s community rules and restrictions administration responsibilities include:
- Establishing rules and restrictions for the common good of the community.
- Enforcing the rules and restrictions uniformly.
About Financial Information
Payment options are available: On-line banking, Credit Card, or payment with a check.
ON-LINE BANKING PAYMENT (One Time Payment)
- This online service allows for you to pay your account balance via a one-time e-Check.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENT (One Time Payment):
- You may pay your account balance conveniently and securely with a credit card.
- Note that you must have all of the information on your payment in order to successfully submit payment.
Each year, the annual budget is mailed to each owner. If you are new to the Association, the budget is contained within your welcome package. If you have lost your copy of the Budget and would like another, please contact Sound Community Management. If you have specific questions about a line item on the budget, please submit your inquiry.
The Board of Directors, under the authorization of the Association documents there are guidelines for approval or ratification by owners.
If you live in an Association, then you have purchased into a community where membership is mandatory. In addition, the Association Documents specify that you must pay assessments to maintain the Association.
About Administrative Information
Contact Sound Community Management to request a copy of these documents or through your community website. (These documents should have been given to you at your mortgage closing. You may wish to review your closing documents before purchasing these documents.)