Texas Property Code
Secretary of State
Community Associations Institute
The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Community Associations Institute
The Foundation for Community Association Research
Collin County Guide
Save One Energy
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A community association is established to preserve, maintain, enhance and protect the value of the homes, common property, and amenities within the community.
When an association is being built, the developer controls the association. After a certain number of homes are sold, the developer may institute an Advisory Panel comprised of homeowners within the community and representatives of the developer. Typically, once the development is complete, the association transitions to homeowner control; the community then elects a Board of Directors comprised of association members.
Community association membership is typically comprised of all owners of lots within the community or, in the case of a condominium association, the owner of the condominium.
What are governing documents?
Governing documents are recorded legal documents (such as Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations etc.) that establish the rules of the community, describe how it will govern itself, and outline the responsibilities of the members and the association.
The governing documents will be provided to you by the title company at the closing of your home along with a resale disclosure certificate, insurance certificates, budget, balance sheet and various other documents pertaining to your association. It’s important to retain these documents so that they are accessible.
If you are a current homeowner and cannot locate your documents, please call our office. If you are not a current homeowner, please go to www.condocerts.com to order a set.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the language in these documents.
When you accept the deed to your new home, your property is contractually bound to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. The Declaration establishes the owner’s responsibility and provides guidance for adherence to the provisions set forth in that document. The association is responsible for enforcing the covenants, conditions and restrictions.
What types of documentation are needed when buying or selling a home?
If you are looking to buy into a community association, Texas Property Code requires a Resale Disclosure Certificate. This document provides you with a full disclosure of any monies owed, violations, governmental actions or lawsuits against a particular property or the association, and a copy of the association’s governing documents. It will also provide you with a financial overview of the association, annual budget, and their current insurance. It’s important to obtain one of these, as it will give you a snapshot of the association’s financial health and exposed liabilities.
If you are considering buying into a community association, please read What To Know Before You Buy In An HOA
What is Common Area?
Common areas consist of areas where all members share ownership and the association is responsible for maintaining. Based on your particular governing documents, these areas can include pools, walking and bike trails, ponds, lakes, playgrounds, clubrooms, tennis courts, etc. In condominium communities, it may also include building exteriors, patios, and balconies (for example).
An architectural modification, alteration, addition or improvement includes anything that may be done to the exterior of your home or lot that would alter the aesthetic of the home or lot from when it was purchased. These alterations, modifications, additions or improvements require approval from the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) prior to the construction. The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions will provide guidance on who comprises the committee and what the process is for approval. Applications for submission of your plans and specifications are available through the management company.
Dues are assessments that represent each owner’s share of the financial responsibility of the association. Dues may be billed annually, semi-annually, monthly, or in other increments as may be determined by the association’s governing documents.
The amount of dues an individual owes is based on the annual budgetary needs of the association. For example, increases in the price of gasoline may have a spillover effect on as association’s landscaping costs, as most lawn equipment is gas-powered. As the price of expected services to the community increases, dues (also known as assessments), must be adjusted to meet the community’s needs.
It’s important to read and understand your governing documents, as there may be restrictions on the amount the Board can increase assessments in a given year.
The association sends out billing for dues to every owner. Check with us or see our website for payment assistance. If you are not receiving your billing, please contact us to ensure that all the contact information on file is current.
Protecting the association is not just covering the physical structure; a sound risk management plan should also cover against crime, liability, and provide protection for anyone who volunteers to serve the community. These types of policies include, but are not limited to: general liability, errors and omissions, worker’s compensation, directors and officers, business interruption, and more.
An association manager is a professional who aids the board in various tasks, including; property oversight, accounting, contracts, education, governance, communication to members, and any other tasks depending on the needs and goals of the community. An association manager helps the Board navigate their governing documents and stay compliant with any applicable State and Federal Statutes.
Please see our contact page containing our phone number, fax number, and email addresses. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to accommodate your emergency needs.
Fee simple is an estate under which the owner is entitled to unrestricted powers to dispose of the property and which can be left by will or inherited. Commonly a synonum of ownership.
What does the term “leasehold” mean?
Leasehold is an estate in realty held under a lease; an estate for a fixed term.