When a new HOA manager enters a community, that person takes on a lot of responsibilities. HOA managers are responsible for helping to draft community rules and regulations, monitoring community activities, listening to complaints and, of course, resolving issues and enforcing rules.
This can be a lot to take on for a single person, especially when the HOA has an extensive list of rules and regulations. There are a few things that can make an HOA manager’s life easier, though, and these things generally start with fixing simple mistakes that are all too common in this position.
- Not reading the governing documents
The governing documents for a given community can be extensive and will differ from one community to another. These documents are provided to every homeowner or resident and are expected to be followed. But a common problem HOA managers face is that they have not actually read through all of these documents.
Without having read every inch of the governing documents, how is a manager supposed to be able to enforce said documents? Every HOA manager should thoroughly read, and then reread, the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations and Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for their communities.
- Not knowing the statutes
State and federal statutes will apply to HOAs and can affect how the HOA conducts its business. These may regulate how the HOA uses language in its governing documents, how it can enforce regulations and much more. If an HOA manager is ignorant to these statutes, the HOA may find itself at odds with the law because of how it is run.
Learning about the statutes an HOA must adhere to usually requires educational classes and HOA legal counsel in Arizona. The HOA manager should research these as much as possible and seek legal assistance to get up to speed.
- Not knowing parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure, or the body of rules, regulations, customs and ethics that governs meetings of various bodies, for HOAs is governed by the Arizona Open Meeting Law (ARS 33-1248 and 33-1804). In essence, this law dictates that HOA boards must publicize board meetings and allow members of the association to attend and speak at them.
Failing to understand all facets of the parliamentary procedure for HOAs can land HOAs in hot water if association members find out that their rights are not being upheld within the community. Managers should read up on the laws or seek legal advice to ensure they understand.
- Not getting maximum annual assessment right
A large component of an HOA manager’s job is handling the finances of the association and collecting dues and special assessments from members. The HOA’s CC&Rs may dictate a maximum annual assessment to prevent the HOA from taking too much money from residents in a given year.
Not adhering to the set maximum annual assessment and accidentally taking more money from residents than allowed could land the HOA in court with a slew of angry residents. This is where carefully reading the CC&Rs and other governing docs comes into play.
- Not advising boards to meet when the documents require
HOA boards are required to meet per their governing documents; this may mean they have specific dates to meet, regulations on the number of meetings held per year or other requirements.
The HOA manager should be familiar with these requirements and advise the board to meet when necessary, or else HOA issues may not be able to be addressed by the board, and the association members will not have ample opportunities to speak their piece about issues in the community.
HOA law assistance can make your community run more smoothly
HOA managers have a lot of responsibilities, and failing to meet those can make the community angry and put the HOA in a bad legal position. HOA legal counsel in Arizona can help, whether for learning about state statutes, or for assistance in collections, compliance enforcement or other HOA issues.
If you seek HOA legal counsel in Arizona, call Goodman Law Group. We focus exclusively on HOA law to help your association run as smoothly as it can.