Whether you are board member in a community association or simply a homeowner residing in one, it is important to be aware of the governing documents that regulate the community. The governing documents provide the association and board of directors with structure that guides the community to run effectively, guide the decision making, and support the associations operations. Additionally, governing documents set for the rules and standards for the community and rights and obligations of all parties. However, one of the most important things the governing documents provide is that they are all agreed to by all owners when the purchase a home within a community association. Below is a brief overview of the community associations governing documents that your community likely is guided by:
The Declaration (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions)- The Declaration in many instances is the most important document governing a community association. This document binds all owners to the association, establishes association responsibilities, and define owner’s rights and obligations. The Declaration is usually created prior to the development and are recorded at the register of deeds office within the county. The declaration is a legal and binding contract by anyone who chooses to purchase property within an association which means they must be followed by all parties.
Articles of Incorporation- The articles of incorporation initially create the corporation under state law and will often define the associations basic purposes, power, and other information needed for incorporating in the state.
Bylaws- To simply put it, bylaws dictate how a community association should be ran. This document typically contains provisions concerning the operation of the association such as meetings, procedures for election the Board of Directors and officers, and general duties of the Board
Rules and Regulations- The boards adopt reason rules and regulations (must be consistent with the above governing documents and shouldn’t contradict them). Typically, you will see the power of the Board to enact rules and regulations defined in the Declaration or Bylaws.