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Living in a homeowners association, you’ve likely heard people use terms such as “Bylaws,” “Rules” or “CC&Rs.” What do they mean? An Association is actually a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Minnesota – and to be so, they have an important set of legal governing documents. Much like our country has a Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc to function as a nation, an association has a similar document framework to act as a common interest community. The purpose of this article is to give you, as a member of a homeowner association, a basic understanding of this set of documents.

Although all HOAs are slightly different, their governing documents will typically all contain the following:
*    Articles of Incorporation
*    Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions *CC&Rs)
*    Bylaws
*    Rules and Regulations

Articles of Incorporation
A homeowner’s association is a non-profit organization and must file paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office before a developer sells any property within the HOA. Everyone who purchases property in the HOA becomes a member of the Association. The Articles of Incorporation are typically brief and contain basic information such as an Association’s name, location, and purpose.

Each governing document serves a specific purpose, yet they all interact with one another to create and maintain a community homeowner association. By purchasing in an association, you created a legally binding contract between yourself and the association. That “contract” is the important documents listed above.  Hopefully this breakdown is helpful. You can access these documents on your association’s website through www.sharpermanagement.com