Sharper Management


Part 3 – Bylaws – Understanding Governing Documents for HOAs

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 Bylaws Once an association has been formed and the Declarations laid out, it then adopts a set of bylaws. Bylaws are important for owners. The primary function of the Bylaws is to give direction on how the Association will be governed. Here are some examples of critical components of the Bylaws: *         Board of Directors structure (term length, number, qualifications, etc.) *         Responsibilities of the Board (policy creation and enforcement, budget setting, etc.) *         Officer positions and responsibilities (President, Treasurer, Secretary, etc.) *         Voting procedures and rights *         Board and owner meeting requirements *         Meeting notice procedures 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

Aaron Osowski Joins the Sharper Management Team

Eden Prairie, MN, (November 7, 2017) – Sharper Management is pleased to welcome Aaron Osowski to its community management team as an Assistant Manager. He will be working with our Community Managers to ensure tasks and requests from Sharper Management properties are attended to efficiently. Osowski comes to Sharper Management with a background in property management. A rental associate at a 66-unit complex where he was responsible for leasing, tenant communication, and assisting in unit turnovers, gives him a solid base upon which to build. He’s looking forward to learning the ins and outs of HOA management and the various rules and regulations of the industry. “Aaron comes in with experience in the property management industry. His attention to detail will serve Sharper’s clients very well. I have no doubt he will have a long and successful career in this field,” state Josh Reams, Associate Director of Community Management. Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area. For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Limited Common Elements vs Common Elements

It is important to understand the difference between Limited Common Elements vs Common Elements.  And please note that these will vary significantly by association and how the Governing Documents define and treat them.  A Common Element is typically a space or component that is “shared” by all. Popular examples include roadways, parking lots, condo building hallways and lobby areas, roofs, siding, grass/trees/landscaping, etc.  Typically the association is responsible for maintaining these areas and components with funds collected from regular dues/assessments. Cutting the grass, plowing roads, repairing roof leaks, etc.  Additionally, the association may be responsible for replacing some of these components with funds set aside via the Replacement Reserve.  Common Elements are things that are equally shared. Limited Common Elements, however, are a bit trickier to understand. These are typically areas or components that are exclusively used by a particular homeowner or shared owners; or they may be components located outside of the “unit boundaries.”  Examples include doors, windows, decks, patios, etc.  Another example might be components that not all units have – such as balconies, skylights and chimneys. Limited Common Elements are exclusively used and NOT equally shared. The important thing to realize about Limited Common Elements is that while the responsibility for maintenance and replacement MAY (and not always) be the association’s, the cost could be entirely the homeowner’s. Governing Documents will read differently, but the common theme and practice for an association is that maintenance/replacement of Limited Common Elements may be assessed to the benefiting unit owner, unless said maintenance/replacement is provided to ALL owners. For more information on the topic, and particularly if your association is governed by the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA), see the full statutory description of Common and Limited Common Elements at  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=515b.2-109