FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This is provided as a service to help you understand the basics of how a condominium association is organized. Individual associations have different rules. We stand ready to answer questions on your specific situation.
What is a Condminium or Homeowners' Association?
It is a legal entity and is registered as a non-profit corporation. Its members are the owners of the units in that condominium complex. A board of directors is elected by these members, and the board manages the property following the rules set out in the corporate documents. The board oversees the maintenance of the common areas, usually with the assistance of a hired property manager.
What are these Corporate Documents?
They are the legal documents that lay out the guidelines for the specific condominium community. They are part of the title to your unit. The Declaration creates the community and explains its organization. The bylaws and rules and regulations specify what is allowed in the community and the duties of the board of directors. Resale documents are the entire package of documents required to be given to a new owner.
What are the Duties of the Board of Directors of the Condominium Association
This board is trusted with preserving property values by maintaining the common areas of the property, updating and enforcing regulations for the association, overseeing the finances (which includes collection of the assessments), obtaining insurance coverage for the common areas, and keeping members of the condominium association informed.
Many of these tasks can be, and usually are, contracted to a property manager.
The Board of Directors includes the following officers and their duties:
President: plans and presides over meetings, acts as spokesperson, appoints committees if needed and performs day-to-day administration
Secretary: maintains minutes of meetings and the history of the association, handles association correspondence and mailings, and keeps records of association members
Treasurer: reports to the association on the financial condition of the association, and, working with hired professionals, plans budgets, develops investment strategies, and oversees tax filings and yearly audits
What is an Association Fee?
An association fee, also called an assessment or dues, is a monthly fee each unit owner pays to cover his share of maintenance and utilities for the common areas of the condominium complex, including the cost of long-term repairs such as a new roof. These expenses are detailed in the association’s budget. The amount of the fee is based on this budget and the number of units in the complex. In most condominium associations, the condominium fee is based on the percentage of unit ownership.
These assessments are legally required to be paid by each owner and may change if the budget changes.
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What Do Property Managers Do?
Property managers are professionals hired by the board of directors of a condominium association to help them manage business of the property, maintaining its value and the quality of life offered by condominium living.
They make sure that the board, association members (the owners), and vendors are coordinated and working together. They send notices of annual meetings of the association. They collect the condo fees/assessments, make sure bills are paid, assist with drafting a budget, assist with tax filings and forms and produce financial statements.
Property managers work with insurance claims and research policies to advise on coverage. They consult with the board of directors on legal requirements and refer the board to other professionals, such as accountants and attorneys. They keep records, including files on each owner. They work with the association, via the board of directors, on finding and contracting vendors for construction and maintenance, inspecting common areas and monitoring projects.
Property managers are not typically involved in handling disputes between owners or reporting to individual owners.
While property managers are not often required to maintain 24/7 availability, they are expected to have procedures in place to handle emergencies.