Homeowners associations are created to protect the community and have significant lot of control over the community, including how properties should be handled. HOAs may make rules about the height of your grass, the upkeep of your yard, how many vehicles you can have in your driveway, repairs to your home, the color of your house or other aspects that can influence the property values in your community.
Know the laws and rules that oversee homeowners' association in your state. An HOA is set up like any other corporate entity. Laws vary from state to state, but usually consist of choosing a director and writing by-laws. It helps to have experience writing bylaws or the advice of a real-estate lawyer.
Point out in the by-laws that association membership is for homeowners of the community who are 18 years and older. They are eligible to vote for and be officers in the association. Members will elect a board of directors at annual meetings to be held at a time designated by president or board members. Membership shall be notified ahead of time of the annual and monthly meetings. Meetings are open to the public. Special meetings may be called by or at the request of the board or members. The membership needs to be notified of the public meeting ahead of time, about two weeks in advance.
Include an order of business section that specifies procedures for the roll call, proof of notice of the meeting, reading and approval of minutes of the preceding meeting, reports of directors, reports of committees, unfinished business, new business and special tasks such as election of new officers.
Select the number of members to serve as the association's board of directors. Specify the terms of office including term limits, the dates on which the terms expire, how vacancies should be handled and when elections should take place, and how removal of board members should be performed.
Determine how voting in general and special elections should be applied. Rules should include dates of the election and the seats or offices to be held. There need to be voter qualifications. Nominations are often open to the floor at the annual membership meetings. How the ballots and tallying procedures should be handled will also be a part of the by-laws contract. The elections should be certified by the association president or officers.
Define the offices of the board, which should include president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. The roles of each office should be specified.
Explain how deposits, contracts, checks and funds are handled, how the board is to handle or accept gifts as to not reflect conflicts of interest. This section may also include when membership dues should be in and when the fiscal year beings and ends. Include rules on how books and records should be kept or corrected. Adoption and amendment regulations to the by-laws should also be included.
- The by-laws and all pertinent documents should be recorded with the proper authorities, usually the county where the homeowners' association is located.
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