Sharper Management


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

The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
After a developer has established an association and incorporates it, then they must file an important document with the County that lays out the rights and responsibilities of the association and the people within it. It is truly the “meat” of the association’s set of governing documents – and it sets the framework for every other document after it. Some of the common components of the Declarations include:
*         Definition of Unit boundaries
*         Identifying “common areas” and components
*         Listing of maintenance responsibilities (ex: owners maintain inside of “unit” and association “common areas”)
*         Overall rights of owners (ex: unit leasing or pet)
*         Owner restrictions (ex: residential use only and not business)
*         Overall rights of association (ex: rule creation)
*         Insurance requirements
*         Assessment procedures and requirements (special assessments, monthly assessments/”dues”)
*         Association’s powers to collect dues

The Declaration of Covenants is, in essence, the contract between owners and the Association. It is an incredibly important and powerful legal document.

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