July 31, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the governing documents?

  • A:  The governing documents give the Executive Board authority and direction to govern the association.

They consist of:

Articles of Incorporation

  • Provide the legal basis for operating within Pennsylvania Corporation Codes, bring the corporation into existence, defines the corporation’s basic purpose and powers, and establishes the executive board.

Declaration of Condominium, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions

  • Deals with the physical entities that comprise the association, establishes the association as a legal entity, provides annexation and Declarant rights, describes association rights & responsibilities, etc.

By-Laws/Code of Regulations

  • Regulation for the administration and management of the association outlines how the association shall be governed and deals with the association as a corporation, i.e., elections, assessment, collections, term of office, duties of officers, meeting and quorum requirements, etc.

Rules and Regulations/ Resolutions

  • Adopted by the Executive Board within the guidelines of the Declaration

State Statutes

  • Pa uniform condominium act
  • Pa uniform planned community act
  • Establishes the framework for operation of all community associations in the state.

Q: What is a homeowners 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; Declaration, bylaws, and articles of incorporation. The governing legal documents for the corporation are financially supported by all members of the homeowners association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.

HOA boards rely on a professional community management organization like Elite Management to provide the following kinds of HOA services for homeowners. At Elite Management we take this work very seriously and are committed to making your neighborhood the best it can be.

  • Assisting boards and committees in obtaining bids, undertaking projects and providing training.
  • Pay  community bills
  • Collect monthly assessments
  • Providing expert monthly financial management reports
  • Working closely with title companies to provide transfer and disclosure documents quickly
  • Maintaining community files
  • Overseeing common area as well as individual lots
  • Offering 24 hour emergency contacts and customer service for community-specific questions
  • Facilitating HOA board meetings
  • Helping community members understand the guidelines within the community
  • Responding quickly and supportively when homeowner issues arise

Q: What is the Declaration?

A: The Declaration is the governing legal document that sets up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The Declaration is recorded by the county recorder’s office of the county in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property.

Q: What are the By-laws?

A: The By-laws is the guidelines for the administrative operation of the non-profit corporation. The By-laws 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 association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Association as a business.

It is very important that all owners familiarize themselves with the documents governing your community so that you have a better understanding of its requirements.

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 currently composed of three developer members and two resident members. The resident members are elected by the homeowners at the Association’s Annual Meeting.

Q: If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?

A: If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Association.

Q: Are Board meetings open to all residents?

A: Yes in general. Notice of the time and place of any regular board meeting is generally communicated to the owners in a community.

Q: What is the association responsible for (or what do my dues cover)?

A: It depends on the association’s governing documents. The declaration provides detail on what are common elements and limited common elements vs. what consists of a unit in a condominium. Generally, the maintenance, upkeep, and replacement of the common elements are the responsibility of the association, and certain responsibilities are sometimes borne by the association with the respect to limited common elements also.

Q: What is the Role of the Management Company?

A: The management company is a separate entity from the developer or builder of a community.  The management company takes direction from the Board of Directors of a Homeowners or Condominium Association.  Their role is to maintain the finances and accounting of the community, prepare the budget, and manage the various contracts that are in place with the vendors who provide service to the Community.  The manager also handles maintenance requests from residents within communities in which the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) state the HOA is responsible for maintaining.  Management will enforce the Rules and Regulations of the community established by the CC&R’s and the Board of Directors.

Q: Do I have the option of not receiving services?

A: In a condominium association especially, the CC&R’s establish that the association is responsible for the maintenance of the grounds (e.g. landscaping and snow removal services).  The residents of the association pay a fee for the services provided and it is not something that a resident can “opt out” of.  In a Planned Unit Development (PUD) there are instances where the CC&R’s establish the association responsibilities for the landscaping and snow removal services for units that are attached and share common interests.  In these types of communities the resident also cannot “opt out” of paying the monthly fee.