What You Need to Know about HOA CC&Rs
"It is essential that homeowners fully understand the rights and responsibilities provided under their HOA CC&Rs," said Steven Hirsch, senior vice president of property management at FirstService Residential. "The CC&Rs are the association's 'Bill of Rights' and serve as a roadmap to help guide homeowners on the 'dos and don'ts' within their community. Compliance or non-compliance with an association's CC&Rs can determine the harmony or discord of association living."
Let’s explore HOA CC&Rs – what they mean, why they matter, and how they affect you.
1. HOA CC&Rs - The basics.CC&Rs count as a legally binding contract between residents and an association. If you are currently enjoying the benefits of association living, you are contractually bound to abide by HOA rules. If you don’t follow the HOA CC&Rs, you might find yourself in breach of that contractual agreement, resulting in severe consequences.
2. HOA CC&Rs – Why they matter.CC&Rs are developed to protect property values and keep your neighborhood safe and well-maintained. They're created to ensure a certain standard of life, so all owners and residents are given the same rights and privileges and held equally accountable. While some people might think of them as a burden, CC&Rs are intended to create an environment where the quality of life is upheld every day, and everyone has the freedom to live happily.
3. The benefits of HOA CC&Rs.By living in a community with CC&Rs, you can rely on your neighborhood to maintain a pleasant and visually appealing decorum. Because of your HOA CC&Rs, you never have to worry about your neighbor painting their house wild colors or keeping an unsightly boat parked in their driveway year-round. Some buildings have even adopted restrictions that protect homeowners’ views from being obstructed. Of course, there are many other benefits of living in a homeowners' association – association fees collected from owners go toward paying for community amenities like parks, community centers, pools and more. The money is placed in reserve accounts that accommodate the cost of major upgrades or repairs to the community that may arise from time to time.
4. How HOA CC&Rs are created.CC&Rs are usually crafted by developers and later amended by a community’s association board. Your HOA board can update CC&Rs according to shifting community trends and needs. These new rules take shape as bylaws. However, because homeowners duly elect the board, their actions, by definition, should reflect the wants and needs of association members. When your community partners with a property management company, that firm becomes the party that enforces the rules. That means they collect dues and issue warnings or fines when laws are broken. Effective management teams can also help educate homeowners by delivering clear and consistent communication that explains the value of the association's bylaws, minimizing misunderstandings and maintaining compliance.
5. How HOA CC&Rs impact you.Ultimately, CC&Rs are in place to make life better for you, so you should familiarize yourself with them. Being properly informed about your home and the surrounding community can help you abide by the laws and be a good neighbor. Being well versed in your CC&Rs will also help you avoid any conduct that may be perceived as inappropriate. It’s also essential to know your rights as part of your community. Under state laws, you should have received a copy of your CC&Rs when you purchased your property. If you don't have a copy, you should reach out to your board for one as soon as possible. If your association works with a property management company, they can help.
Remember, HOA CC&Rs create a fair, peaceful, and rewarding community to live in for everyone. Contact FirstService Residential, North America's leading property management company, for more information about the benefits of association living.