What is a Community Association?
It is a mandatory, non-stock, non-profit, corporation. The purpose of your Association is the preservation of economic value within your community architectural controls and deed restrictions. Also, your Association provides quality of life services that may include recreational activities, social programming, and maintenance of the common area. A Board of Directors, elected by you and other owners, operating under the legal documents, which established the Association, governs your Association. To meet its required duties, your Association is empowered to enforce the provisions of the community documents, as well as collect necessary fees and assessments to sustain services.
What are "Deed Restrictions" and Why Do We Have Them?
Deed restrictions are important rules governing your responsibilities as a member of your Association. They are also created to protect your rights as a homeowner. The architectural controls are not established to stifle creativity, but rather to assure that integrity of the original community design is preserved. Most homeowners move into a community because they approve of its architectural style and general appearance. Deed restrictions help ensure your community will always remain as nice as the day you moved there. You should have been furnished with a copy of the CC&R's and By-Laws (which contain all restrictions) before or during the closing of your property. If you have not received a copy and would like to, please be informed that these documents are uploaded onto the Association's website.
May I Make Improvements To My Property?
Yes, in general, you may do whatever you desire to the interior of your house (so long as there are no structural alterations). For exterior changes to your home (depending on the nature of change) the Association usually has one or more committees charge with approval responsibility. This will involve submitting a modification request to the approving Association entity (Architectural Review Committee or Board of Directors). This approval assures not only the beauty of your home but also consistency within the community. The ARC application and guidelines are available from your manager or on the Association's website.
What Can The Association Do to Correct a Violation of The Deed Restrictions?
Enforcement remedies are granted to the Association by the governing legal documents and each Board of Directors adopts an enforcement policy containing specific courses of action. Generally, violations are cited during routinely scheduled inspection of the community. Based upon a policy established by your Board of Directors, violation notices are sent to residents of the violation dwelling asking for their cooperation in correcting the problem. If the violation is not corrected within the time frame specified, the Association may hire someone to correct the violation and charge the property owner with the costs to cure or the Association may hire an attorney and file suit against the owner. The Board of Directors has the responsibility and the duty to enforce deed restrictions. This is not optional.
How Much is the Assessment and What is it Spent For?
The assessment for your community is set on an annual basis. Your Board of Directors approves a budget for the Association based on operating history, an evaluation of the needs of the community, and adequate reserves. Depending upon the specific needs of your community, assessments are used for various services that may include security services, trash pick-up, landscape contracting, audit, insurance, maintaining recreational facilities as well as the accounting and administration of the Association. The current Annual Operating Budget is on the Association's website.
What Happens if Someone Doesn't Pay The Assessment?
Assessments are the lifeblood of your Association and as such, are secured by a lien on each property. If not paid, they are subject to interest, collection costs and ultimately may be foreclosed upon by the Association. If the Association must spend its time and money to collect your assessment, it will harm the Association and eventually all other owners.
What if I Have A Question Regarding My Charges?
Unless there is an emergency, it is best to address your concerns in writing to Ponderosa Management, LLC. If you have supporting documentation, canceled checks, etc. include front and back copies of these with your correspondence. If time is of the essence, we will attempt to research your request over the phone. We attempt to be 100 percent accurate in our invoicing: however, if you have an error, we want to research and correct it as soon as possible.
Does My Mortgage Company Pay My Assessments?
Most mortgage companies no longer escrow for annual assessments. Do not assume that they do. Before sending your statement to them, call and verify if they escrow for your homeowner's assessment. It is your responsibility to make sure assessments are paid timely.
What Can I Do To Help My Association?
Our goal is to use the Association to build a community. Community building requires active participation and involvement. Become involved. Serve on the Board. Head up a committee or lend your talent where it will be most useful.