Understanding Your Community Association’s Governing Power

To many homeowners living in a community governed by an Association, the volunteers on the Board are the neighborhood leaders who enforce rules and regulations with the goal of improving their community.

While Associations have responsibilities to make important decisions for their communities, it is important that homeowners understand the governing extent the Board has within the state and local laws and governing documents of the Association.

If you’re moving into a neighborhood that is controlled by a Community Association or plan to run for a spot on the Board, here is some information that will help you understand how the Board can legally enforce the rules in place.

Curb Appeal and a Community Association

Your Community Association has a set list of rules and regulations that allow them to designate what can and can’t be done to a property. These governing laws are in documents that come with some heavy legal language that could leave the average homeowner stumped when the Association tells them a certain change to their home isn’t allowed.

Some of the most common things that Associations can control include:

  • Any exterior modification/change
  • Fence height and construction
  • The length of a home’s lawn
  • Placement of garbage cans
  • Vehicle parking

Fines and Fees

The Community Association is financially responsible for managing dues and collecting payments on violation fines. Therefore, if a person is found to be non-compliant with a rule in the community’s governing documents, the Association has every right to fine the homeowner.

Associations can also levy late fees to homeowners who have not paid their Association Assessments.  If Assessments are not paid for long enough, it could lead to a homeowner’s home being foreclosed upon. To avoid appeal fines, it’s important that you understand your homeowner’s rights in a Texas HOA.

Your Association Cannot Make Decisions on a Whim

Changes to your community’s documents and bylaws can’t simply be made on a suggestion or snap decision. Yes, changes can be made to governing documents but they must be done so through a process that is legal and above all, fair to the community that said changes will impact if implemented.  Your Governing Documents will include verbiage on what steps must be taken to pass an amendment.

Need Help with Association Responsibilities? Goodwin & Company can Help!

A Community Association is an entity that deals with the financial, legal, and physical upkeep of a community. The board is a hard-working team, but sometimes our neighborhood volunteers need a little help with operational procedures.

Goodwin & Company is a Dallas-based Association management team that can help your Board make the right decisions for the community. Like the Board, we put association members first and are prepared to provide the consulting and reporting that helps keep your Association in good standing with its members. Contact us to find out more about our services.