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Berding | Weil Community Association ALERT Newsletter
Legal News and Comments for Community Association Boards and Managers Issue #71 • June 2011
It's Your Neighbors, Stupid.
Who, not what, is a Homeowners Association?
by Tyler P. Berding, Esq.
We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us
The blogosphere is alive with stories about the transgressions of homeowners associations. Foreclosures. Enforcement of arcane architectural guidelines. Lawsuits by associations for minor rule violations. Owners suing their associations for failing to enforce the rules. “Nazi” boards. Libertarian owners. Just surf the web for awhile and you will see numerous all-caps diatribes against what is perceived as a corporate enemy—the homeowners association. But the truth is that the association serves the owners—not the other way around—in ways that many people don't think about.
Yes, most community associations are corporations. They are run by a (volunteer) board of directors. They have the rules that were left behind when the association was formed by the property developer. They have Bylaws that state how the corporation is to be run. These corporations enforce the Rules and the Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC'Rs) that are recorded by the developer.
Homeowner volunteers are elected to serve on boards of directors. They may or may not have experience running an organization, but the Bylaws don't require any. The volunteers realize that they don't have the time or experience to directly manage the association so they delegate some of their authority to professionals—managers, attorneys, accountants. The homeowner board and the professionals they hire try to follow the rules. Some do a good job. Some fail. It's a mixed bag.
Many owners see the “association” as a faceless antagonist run by people that they don't know. The reality is different. The “association” may be a corporation but in fact it is all of our neighbors acting in concert under a set of rules—not unlike thousands of other volunteer organizations that we join every day. The faces of the corporation are the people you see in your neighborhood—you and your neighbors. So guess what? Just like Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
ECHO Special Seminar - June 18th
Help for Self-Managed Associations
An invitation-only Seminar for HOA boards.
Steven Weil will be speaking together with David Levy and Diane Rossi at a special complimentary presentation for self-managed homeowner associations at this year's Echo Annual Seminar. Topics addressed will include the essentials for directors serving boards without professional outside management.
9:30 - 12:30 At the Santa Clara Convention Center
Please click here for more information
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