Monthly Archives: August 2019

Homeowner Rights in a Texas HOA

While it may appear that a community association has unlimited powers over its community, this is actually a common association myth. Yes, the association has powers that allow it to help protect the neighborhood’s aesthetic, but homeowners within an association also have their own powers under the course of due process.

4 Valid Homeowner Rights

Although some homeowner rights are obscure, we still think it’s important that community members know where their rights lie and how they can take action. Here are four common rights that homeowners possess under a community association in Texas.

1.   The Fair Housing Act

According to the Fair Housing Act, an association cannot enforce rules that would create a disadvantage or single out a specific group of people. This means that no matter your race, ethnicity, political stance, or religion, your association has no power to kick you out because of it.

2.   General Home Decorations

While there are limitations, homeowners are able to decorate their homes with religious displays or flags of their pleasing. In most associations, religious displays on front doors are regulated to a maximum of 25 square inches, while flags can generally be displayed on poles 20 feet tall and less.  While homeowners may have some flexibility with how they can decorate their home, it’s always a good idea to still submit an Architectural Request for any exterior modification to ensure everything falls within your particular association’s unique guidelines.

3.   Appeal Fines

If you find yourself facing a fine because of a violation of the association’s rules, you have the right to appeal that fine and violation. If the violation is valid but you have had it corrected, you have the right to ask your board of directors to waive the fine posted to your account.  If you feel the violation itself is not even valid, you can appeal the issuance of the violation.  Be sure to do your research and know exactly which rules from the association documents you are disputing.

4.   The Right to Notice Prior to Enforcement

Before your association prevents you from using a common area, imposes a fine, or even begins to foreclose on your home, it must first present a written notice.

According to Texas HOA laws, this notice must:

  • Describe the nature of the violation
  • Outline what is requested to be done to cure the violation
  • Give a specific timeframe for resolution

Maintain Your Association Rights with the Help of Goodwin & Company

Goodwin & Company is a team of management experts that can help homeowners and board members alike understand their legal rights. Our job as association management is to ensure that both parties cooperate and build up the communities we serve.

If your community association is in need of behind-the-scenes help, we’re ready to be tagged in! Contact us today to find out more about our services in your area.



Defining The Difference Between HOA and Property Management

Community Association Boards and property management teams often get lumped together in the eyes of homeowners of a community. Sure, both entities have the Association’s best interests in mind, but there is actually quite a difference between being a member of your Association’s Board and being a hired member of a professional management team.

Let’s set the record straight on the actual duties between the two association cornerstones and how their duties and goals have a positive impact on a community.

Don’t the Board and Property Manager Work Together?

The short answer is, yes! Even though the two are separate entities, teamwork helps to ensure upkeep in a community is met.  While the Board and Manager work hand-in-hand, ultimately, any decision is still made by the Board either directly or via a filed policy.

Usually, a property manager is hired to work for an Association and help with some of the specifics behind managing, staffing, and contracting for a community. Here’s a closer look at how the two work both separately and together to keep an association successful.

Understanding Association Management

In an instance where an association management team has been hired to assist an Association, they will be on-hand to carry out management tasks for a property that would simply be too time-consuming for a board. After all, your Board consists of volunteers with jobs, families and other duties outside of their service to the community.

The job of association management is, intuitively, to manage your community. Therefore, they serve on the front lines fielding issues for the Board such as, but not limited to:

  • Homeowner communication on community matters and changes;
  • Dues collection;
  • Project coordination;
  • Emergency scenarios involving homeowners or tenants.

The Duties of Your Association Board

As previously mentioned, the Association Board is a volunteer-driven entity that governs a community within a specific jurisdiction. This is a governing entity that is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules of the community. The whole goal of your Association is to ensure that the neighborhood continues to live up to the standards of excellence set in place by former board members.

The average duties of the board are:

  • Making decisions on Association business
  • Vetting and hiring contractors for community projects
  • Reviewing Association finances and expenses

Get Your Association in Line with its Goals with Goodwin & Company

Ironing out the details that involve running a successful planned community can be a lot for a board of volunteers to handle. At Goodwin & Company, we understand that there are some duties that should be taken off of a Board’s plate.

From legalities to financial planning, we are prepared to help. Contact us today to speak with one of our representatives and find out how we can help your Board mitigate the stresses of maintaining a North Texas community.