Q: What is a community association?
A: It is a non-profit corporation registered with the state and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: Articles of Incorporation; Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's) or Master Deed; and Bylaw. Community associations include homeowner associations, condominiums and townhomes. The association is financially supported by all members of the property owners association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.
Q: What are the Advantages of Community Association Living?
A: Neighborhoods with a community association often have an attractive combination of well-designed homes and landscaped open spaces. Clubhouses, parks, pools and other amenities are often part of the community common areas. Community members can enjoy community facilities that may have been unaffordable individually. Further, the individual does not have to be directly responsible for maintenance. The community association operates and maintains the shared facilities.
Q: What are the CC&R'S?
A: 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 clerk's 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 CC&R's often contain architectural guidelines, requirement and limitations for properties within the association. Some forms of communities such as condominiums or townhomes may have a Master Deed, which has the same affect and authority as CC&R's.
Q: What are the Bylaws?
A: 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.
Q: Are there any other rules?
A: Many 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 any other alteration to the exterior of a property. 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 Control Committee, as applicable, you may be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation. For more information about this topic visit the Resource Center page of this site. You can use the Requests section on this site to submit an architectural change for your property. However, the Board of Directors or Architectural Control Committee will likely contact you for additional information depending on your specific request.
Q: How does the management company handle issues and complaints?
A: Complaints should be submitted in writing to the management company. Complaints should state the problem, identify the offending homeowner, and the date(s) of the offense(s). Just as in any court of law, the offender has the right to know who is complaining and what they are being accused of. The offender is also entitled to a hearing before the Board of Directors. Please be sure of your facts before filing complaints.
Q: Where can I obtain a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, CCR's, Bylaws and any other rules of the association?
A: These documents for each association are available through the Our Communities section of this site. Select the specific association and you will be guided to all of the recorded governing documents for that association.
Q: If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the rules, what can I do?
A: Prior to turning to the association, residents should always try to resolve a situation between themselves. If you have tried to resolve a situation through neighborly means without success, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the rule, you may complete a Report a Violation form online at the Requests section of this site. If the situation is deemed in violation of the rules, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.
Q: What is my assessment?
A: The assessment is the periodic amount due from each property owner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. As a reminder, statements with due dates will be sent for assessments. You can also sign up for Auto Pay at this site and use either a credit card or ACH (Automated Clearing House) for payment of your recurring assessment.
Q: Where to mail payment?
A: Mail payment to: DANA Properties, 6201 Escondido Drive - Main Office, El Paso, Texas, 79912-1947.
Q: How is the amount of my assessment determined?
A: The initial budget from the developer is established based upon the estimated cost to maintain the association. Many times the developer will work with a management firm knowledgeable in the field of community associations to prepare the initial budget. This budget is set upon guidelines for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items such as 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.
Q: Will my assessment go up?
A: There is no concrete answer to this. Typically the CCR's provides for annual increases, but not to exceed a certain percent 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.
Q: What is a special assessment?
A: In addition to your regular assessment, the Board of Directors may levy, in any assessment year, a special assessment, only applicable to that year, for the purpose of defraying the cost of any construction, reconstruction, repair or replacement of a capital improvement on the common facilities, provided that any such assessment is in accordance with the governing documents.
Q: What happens if I don't pay my assessment?
A: The maintenance and management services incurred by the association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each property owner. Late payments will result in a late charge. In addition, the CC&R's allows the association to charge late charges and interest. Additionally, the associating may proceed with a lien on your property, a lawsuit or foreclosure proceeding for nonpayment of assessments.
Q: What is the Board of Directors?
A: The Homeowner's Association again 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 within the governing document the community.
Q: What is a 'management company,' what do they do, and how do I reach them?
A: A management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: Collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for contracted services, providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem solving and communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors. The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The management company may be reached online through the Requests page on this website or by phone from the numbers listed on the Contact Us page on this site.
Q: Are Board Meetings open to all residents? If so, where and when are they held?
A: Yes. Notice of the time and place of any regular board meeting can accessed online on the Calendar Page on this site.
Q: If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how I can get involved?
A: If you are interested in volunteering, please use the Contact Us page of this website and we will forward your information to the Board of Directors or Committee Chairperson.
Q: What is a proxy and what is its purpose?
A: The definition for Proxy is “the function or power of a person authorized to act for another. The person so authorized.” The purpose of a proxy is important as it allows for voting and establishing a quorum in order for business to be conducted.
Q: Is it mandatory I complete it if I’m not attending the meeting?
A: Proxy Form must be completed if you do not plan on attending the meeting, whether it is an annual or a special meeting. The form should be completed and signed by you the property owner naming your proxy holder such as your neighbor or it can be the Secretary of the Board or the Board of Directors themselves. The proxy must be presented prior to the opening of the meeting and the proxy holder needs to be present at the meeting. It is recommended that if you are unable to attend the meeting that you exercise your right as a homeowner, in good standing, to vote by proxy. This allows for a quorum to be met.