The short answer is no. A professional management company such as Community Association Management Services (CAMS) will assist in the successful operation of the homeowners’ association by carrying out a range of duties, but the authority to approve budgets, establish special assessments and set policies is left to the board of directors.
Regardless, it’s an interesting point and a definite cause of concern for many people. Thinking about it made me realize that there is a lot of confusion about homeowners’ associations and how they operate.
To provide clarification and dispel some of the myths about property owner associations, which include Planned Unit Developments (PUD) and Condominium Associations, I would like to offer the following:
- Associations are typically nonprofits, created by the developers when they file the Articles of Incorporation and a Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, which are commonly referred to as CCRs.
- The developer usually appoints a board of directors to manage the homeowners’ association during the Declarant Control Period. In a PUD this period can either end when the last lot or unit is sold, or when a Certificate of Occupancy is received. In a condominium the period lasts until a certain percentage of units are sold.
- The board of directors and/or management company for the association is required to comply with state and federal laws as well as the association’s specific governing documents.
- In addition to the Articles of Incorporation and Declaration mentioned above, the governing documents also include Bylaws, Architectural Guidelines, Policies, and the Rules and Regulations that were adopted by the board of directors.
- The board of directors has the authority to hire a professional management company to help manage and operate the association.
- The board of directors can delegate certain duties to a professional management company; however, they cannot transfer responsibility. The professional management company acts at the direction of the board of directors.
- Management companies do not have the authority to approve budgets, establish the amount of assessments (sometimes referred to as dues), adopt rules and regulations, or set policies on behalf of an association. These are acts that can only be performed by the association members, board of directors, and/or committees.
One of the main points to remember is that a well-managed PUD or condominium community is only obtained with the productive involvement of the board of directors, the committees, owner members and the management company—all working together to achieve a successful track record of operations.
For questions about homeowners’ associations or the benefit of hiring a professional management company, please visit the CAMS website at www.CAMSmgt.com
Mike Stonestreet is a 26-year veteran of the professional HOA management industry who has achieved one of the highest education-based designations in the field, that of Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM). Community Association Management Services (CAMS) has been a leading association management company since its inception in 1991. CAMS is a trusted provider of management services for more than 265 associations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. To find out how CAMS can benefit your community, call 910-256-2021, email [email protected], or visit www.CAMSmgt.com.