What is a “management company,” what do they do, and how do I reach them?
A community association management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services
as: Collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services,
providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem
solving, communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors and to serve in an advisory capacity.
The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote
of the Board of Directors. EJF Real Estate Services may be reached a number of ways - the easiest
is to use the Contact Us page of this website or by calling our main line at 202 537-1801.
What is a homeowner’s association?
An HOA, or Homeowners Association, is a non-profit group registered you’re your state/District of Columbia
and organized to maintain common areas within a community, while also governing the community to
ensure that members function in accordance with the Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation or CC&Rs. These
groups are governed through the oversight of an elected board of directors. To live in a community
that has an HOA, community members must support the association financially and agree to live by
the legal documents that govern the group. Membership in a HOA is automatic and mandatory when an
individual purchases a home in the community. The governing legal documents for your association
may be viewed online on your association’s website (link to CINC’s EJF association login).
Who Needs HOA Management?
Developers, board members and homeowners who are part of the decision-making process for a community
can benefit from working with an HOA management firm. Management firms are viewed as the "back office
support" of the community. Board members generally delegate most of the administrative tasks of managing
the common areas and community to the HOA management firm, thus freeing them to focus on maintaining
good communication with the members of the community.
How Does HOA Management Help a Community?
A full service HOA management company, like us, takes much of the responsibility of managing the HOA
off of the board members' shoulders. HOA management companies do not make decisions on behalf of
the board, but most tasks the board does can be given to the HOA management company. With the help
of a quality homeowner’s association management firm, board members can save a substantial amount
of time and money. HOA community management companies know HOA laws and will be able to apply those
to the community. Together, they will work with the board to make the organization and community
as successful as possible.
What are the CC&R'S?
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's) are the governing legal documents that set up the
guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&R's were
recorded by the County Register of Deeds office of the County in which the property is located and
are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&R's may result in a fine to
a homeowner by the Association. The governing legal documents for each association may be viewed
online within each communities' website. What are the Bylaws? The Bylaws are the guidelines for the
operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the
Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership's voting rights, required meetings
and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items
that are necessary to run the Association as a business. The Bylaws for the association may be viewed
on your association’s website.
What is the Board of Directors?
The Homeowner's Association is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee
its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the
Bylaws. The limitation and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the
Association governing documents found on each communities' website.
Are there any other rules?
Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&R's and adopted by the
Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies
with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will
adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to
your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive
interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value
and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of
your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors
and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval
of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required to remove
or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?
If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Association. Should you
have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing
to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may complete
a Covenant Violation form online. The Violation form may be found within the Management Office on
each community website. If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the
Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.
Are Board Meetings open to all residents? If so, where and when are they held?
Not all Board meetings are open to the public. The Board will have periodic meetings that are open to
the public. Contact _____ to find out your Board’s meeting schedule.
If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how can I get involved?
Your community website will inform you of the status of current committees organized and committee contact
information. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the committee chairperson.
What are my dues/assessment?
The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the
common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. The
Board of Directors determines the due date and grace period for paying assessments.
How are the amounts of my dues/assessment determined?
The developer of each new community prepares the initial annual budget and determines the initial assessment
amount. This budget is set upon specific guidelines for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc.
Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items:
lighting, street resurfacing, pool equipment, etc. These amounts are then divided by the number of
units built in a given phase of the development. Subsequent budgets are developed by the Board of
Directors and adjusted periodically to meet anticipated expenses.
Will my dues/assessment go up?
There is no concrete answer to this. Typically, the CC+ R's provides for annual increases. Many CC+R's
have a maximum increase per year without the vote of the membership. The Board of Directors may approve
an increased budget, increasing your assessment up to this percentage in order to cover increased
costs of operating and maintaining the common area and sufficient reserve funds.
What happens if I do not pay my dues/assessment?
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt
of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge. In addition,
the CC&R's allows the Association to charge late charges and interest and proceed with a lien on
your property, or foreclosure proceedings for nonpayment of assessments.
What expenses are paid with dues?
The annual budget of the Association states the expenses anticipated each year. Usually the expenses
provide for items such as insurance, operating and maintenance of common facilities (such as pools,
clubhouses, etc.), storm water ponds, common areas and entrances. HOA fees may also cover insurance
and the salaries of HOA employees or independent contractors such as an outside management company.
They are intended to pay for the repair, maintenance, and upkeep of all areas of the property that
are owned collectively, rather than individually. The funds are not used to maintain any individual
home or unit. How high the HOA fees are will naturally depend partly on how new, large, and luxurious
the community facilities are. Also, don't expect your fees to be reduced based on services you don't
use: Even if you never take a swim in the pool or work out in the gym, you're expected to pitch-in
to maintain them. Who determined the assessment amount? HOA fees (also known in some markets as “assessments”
or “maintenance fees”) are set by the Board of Directors, who determine each owner’s share based
on projected annual expenses. Board members do not profit from HOA fees; they are homeowners just
like you and obligated to pay them like all owners. If and when an HOA decides that an emergency
or special project is necessary for the community, such as painting the exterior of all buildings
in the community or repairing flood damage that wasn't covered by insurance, the HOA may require
all owners (perhaps after a community vote) to pay a special assessment to cover the costs.
Who makes the decisions about association matters?
The Board of Directors determine the policies, rules & regulations involved in the operation of the association’s
business affairs. Any amendments to the governing documents themselves, however, must be approved
by a vote of the unit owners.