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Governing Documents for Homeowner’s Associations Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
Governing documents for a homeowner’s association should include, articles of incorporation, bylaws, declarations of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, and rules and regulations that the community must follow. These governing documents are sometimes referred to as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, or CC&Rs. How the governing documents of your homeowner’s association are written can have major implications regarding the legal rights of members, the ability of the association to enforce its rules, and implications about the legal structure of the association. Getting these documents right is essential to protecting your development and to protecting the interests of your members. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer in Orlando, Florida who can help you whether you are a condominium buyer who might have questions about how to read your condo’s CC&Rs or a developer looking to create CC&Rs for your development. Our homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer can review the governing documents of an HOA before you buy to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a condominium owner. If you purchase a condominium in a development, you will be bound to the rules in the covenants, conditions, and restrictions, so it is important to take the time to review these documents and to understand your legal rights regarding them. If you are a developer planning to establish a condominium, the governing documents will serve as a legal framework for the community. If you are on an HOA board and have discovered that gaps in your governing documents are making it difficult to enforce rules or collect dues, you may need the assistance of a governing documents lawyer. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer in Orlando, Florida who can help you create thorough, complete, and legally enforceable governing documents. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
What Should be Included in an HOA’s Governing Documents?
Most governing documents for an HOA will include Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, and Rules and Regulations. Getting each part of these documents correct if you are a developer is essential. If you are a condominium buyer, understanding each section of your homeowner’s association’s governing documents is important because you will be required to abide by these rules if you buy into the development and become a member of the association. Here is a breakdown of each part of an HOA’s governing documents:
- Articles of Incorporation. The articles of incorporation includes the legal language that formally established the homeowner’s association.
- Bylaws establish formally how the homeowner’s association will be managed. In the bylaws, rules about voting, how meetings are to be held, how association members will be notified about meetings, and information about how often meetings will be called will be included in the bylaws. The bylaws will also outline the responsibilities of the board and the association. For example, the association may be responsible for collecting dues and special assessments from members, may be responsible for enforcing rules, and may be in charge of the association’s budget. Information about the size of the board and the terms of each board member should also be included in the bylaws.
- Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. This section of the homeowner’s association’s governing documents outlines the rules of the association. This will include information about what sections are considered common areas, rules for use of the common areas, and rules for how each condominium must be maintained and how it must appear. Common rules include restrictions on the color you can paint your home, the color of your door, the type of balcony railings or screens you can use, the types of fence you can use around your property, and rules regarding landscaping. The rules may include restrictions on pets. Before buying into an association, it is important to understand the rules by which you will be bound. When creating a homeowner’s association, it is important to consider your goals and to consider what rules will promote the overall value and quality of life for your community. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer in Orlando, Florida who can help you draft sound covenants, conditions, and restrictions that will meet your community’s needs. When drafting these rules, it is important that the rules are in accordance with local Florida law. For example, you cannot enforce a rule that violates accessibility laws or other local laws. If you are buying a condominium, Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer who can help you review the rules to determine whether the condominium is right for you and your lifestyle.
- Rules and Regulations. In addition to rules in the covenants, conditions, and restrictions, some governing documents contain a separate rules and regulations section with added rules.
Whether you are a developer looking to establish a homeowner’s association or a home owner looking to purchase a condominium, a review of the governing documents is essential when it comes to protecting, and understanding your rights. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents attorney in Orlando, Florida who can help you draft these documents, review existing documents for your homeowner’s association, or help you review these documents if you are a homeowner. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
Your HOA’s Governing Documents: Why They are Important
Your HOA’s governing documents are incredibly important. Not only does this document outline the rules of your community, but the document also provides information about how these rules are to be enforced and how dues and special assessments are to be collected. Without sound governing documents, your homeowner’s association could have difficulty enforcing rules or collecting dues. For example, if your homeowner’s association doesn’t explicitly outline how fines for rule-breaking will be assessed and how notice will be provided, the association could have trouble enforcing its own rules.
This is why it is important to review an HOA’s governing documents if you are buying a condominium. While lax enforcement might seem like a good idea (no one likes someone else telling them what they can and cannot do), lax enforcement can lead to reduced property values and issues between neighbors if one neighbor’s actions are impacting the community. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a homeowner’s association governing documents lawyer in Orlando, Florida who helps homeowner’s associations with their documents and helps potential condo buyers review their governing documents so that they understand their rights. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.