Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Do you know your association as well as you should?

Although Colorado has thousands of common interest communities and most of the directors and community managers working with these communities feel they have an adequate grasp on the specifics surrounding their particular community, it can be an eye-opening experience to test general owner knowledge and see how much you really know (or don’t know) about your community.
Try answering the below questions to see if you know your community as well as you should. If you cannot answer 5 or more of the below questions, you have some catching up to do!
  1. Where does the association’s money come from outside of assessments?
  2. Who on the board reviews all monthly income and expenses statements?
  3. How many and whose signature(s) are required on association checks?
  4. How often does the association have an audit performed by a CPA?
  5. Do the governing documents require and audit?
  6. Is the association required to file federal and state tax returns each year, and if so, who files them?
  7. What are the total annual assessments and are they collected on a monthly or other basis?
  8. Are assessments imposed equally against all units/lots or are they weighted?
  9. Does the association’s budget process require owner approval, ratification, or both?
  10. What is the association’s process for determining its reserve needs and what portion of the assessments are allocated to reserves?
  11. Do you know the name of the law firm representing the association?
  12. Can you identify the association’s CPA?
  13. Can you identify the association’s insurance representative?
  14. Does the community have an architectural committee? What is the official title of the committee?
  15. Does the architectural committee have autonomous power to act outside the board?
  16. What types of insurance policies does the association carry and in what amounts?
  17. What are the deductibles associated with the insurance policies? What is the wind/hail deductible?
  18. In which month is the annual meeting held?
  19. Does the community have all 9 required good governance policies? Have you ever read them?
  20. How are votes in the community allocated? Are they equal or weighted?
  21. Does the community have written guidelines for contract bidding, selection, and performance?
  22. How many units/lots are in the association?
  23. What are the association and individual owners responsible for maintaining and insuring?
  24. Where are the community’s records located?
  25. Can you identify all (or most) common elements in the community?
  26. Can you identify all the contractors currently performing services for the community?
  27. What is the quorum requirement for membership meetings?
  28. What is the quorum requirement for our board meetings?
  29. Do your bylaws allow for board member proxies? (If they don’t, you can’t use them!)
  30. What does the association currently charge for late fees and interest on delinquent assessments?
How did you do? Did the results surprise you? Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of information you should know, it covers some of the basic facts that board members and community managers should be knowledgeable about.
Please do not hesitate to attend a meeting should you have any additional questions concerning what you should know about your community.
By Elina Gilbert of Altitude Law