September 28, 2016
Updating community association documents is a difficult, often cumbersome task. For this reason, many HOA and COA boards simply table the discussion, putting it off for a better, more convenient, time in the future. However, outdated policies and governing documents often make it hard for community managers to move forward when change is necessary, and would ultimately benefit the full membership.
While, the actual rewording of existing covenants, bylaws and ancillary documents is a task for legal teams, Axiom Resources serves as a mentor to help associations gain homeowner supports.
When should COA & HOA boards considering updating governing documents?
If you association's CC&Rs and bylaws have not been reviewed for five years, or more, it is time to request a legal review to ensure your documents comply with current statutes and laws. Older documents may not address modern communication options like emailing, texting and owners' portal. Also, there have been important changes that will improve an association’s ability to collect delinquent assessments that can be negatively impacted by outdated governing documents. If your documents have not been updated, then due to the safe harbor law and joint and several liability, back owed association dues may not roll over if the house is sold. The documents can be re-written to include language that mentions if the house has past due assessments when sold, then the new owners can be held liable for these payments.
When considering whether to ask your attorney to look for inconsistencies in condominium planning or subdivision maps, you may also want to ask the legal team to review the original articles of incorporation and other policies that cover code restrictions and financial reporting. It is imperative that the board keeps these written policies up-to-date to prevent ambiguities and confusion for directors and the membership.
There are several key tasks that association leaders must assume responsibility for during a review. For example, the board is responsible for notifying homeowners about the upcoming review, and gaining the appropriate level of voting support before implementing any changes to documents.
How can your community association gain full support from your membership?
To elevate the chances of gaining acceptance from your homeowners to proposed amendments, the board needs to make a strong effort to keep the membership informed throughout the process. It is a good idea to appoint a committee to oversee the process and act as “points of contact” for stakeholders who have questions. The committee members may also solicit feedback from members via telephone, email or face-to-face contact.
There is another, efficient, less burdensome way to solicit support, especially if one reason for the review is that your association plans to modify fee, assessment and debt collection documents. Partnering with a full-service, industry-specific organization that intimately understands HOA, COA and time-share business models helps ensure that your communication is always compliant. Axiom Resources professionals work closely with community associations to develop collection strategies aligned with all federal, state and local statutes, laws and restrictions. In the role of industry mentor, key personnel help directors and board members design communication policies that benefit homeowners, while protecting community assets.
Leveraging the power behind years of experience in the community association industry, HOA and COA boards can address bad debt and potential debt challenges before problems escalate to the point that homeowners and association management become frustrated.
Collaborating with a mentor & partner
Axiom Resources provides superior debt collection services supported by industry professionals who understand the nuances and regulatory challenges associated with covenanted community management. Please visit our customer resource pages or call today to discuss ways our team can help you navigate the document review process and implement stronger debt management solutions that benefit homeowners and the association.