What are Community Associations

What are community associations and how do they operate

How Do Community Associations Operate?

Purpose of Community Associations

  • Created to manage and maintain the common areas of a community
  • Maintain and enhance property values
  • A Legal entity
  • Each property owner is a mandatory member of the Association and is subject to the Association’s governing documents & state statutes.
  • Associations can consist of single-family homes, condos or townhomes

Association Services

  • Enforce and ensure the rules are adhered to by the homeowners.  These rules are used to help maintain property values and the quality of life within the community
  • The services and amenities provided by Associations can vary greatly from community to community.
    • Services may include amenities in common areas such as pools, tennis courts, trails, clubhouse, etc.
    • Some Associations also provide landscaping services from just maintenance of the common areas to full front-yard maintenance.


Each Association is different, but many of their responsibilities consist of maintaining the common areas & amenities, enforcing the governing documents, architectural restrictions, adopting budgets and collecting assessments.


By virtue of your membership in an Association, you have various rights and obligations as noted in the governing documents.  These may include restrictions on the use of your property, such as, obligation to pay assessments, parking restrictions, legal consequences for violations the governing documents and more.

Who is in charge?

Associations are typically governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the homeowners.  In addition, the Board may hire an outside management company to manage the day to day activity.


  • The governing documents provide powers to the Board to enforce its rules.  Associations may also adopt other rules & regulations. The What are Community Associations and How do they Operate? governing documents may include the power to foreclose on delinquent homeowners, as well as legal consequences for failure to pay assessments.
  • Fair and uniform enforcement of an Association’s deed restrictions is critical to maintaining property values.  The rules must be applied consistently

If Owners don’t pay their dues

Usually, the governing documents give the Board the power to place a lien on your home or take other action if you fail to pay the assessments.  It can also result in a foreclosure on your home

Association and Board Members

The Association consists of all owners that own property within the Association.  The Board of Directors consists of those owners who have been elected to conduct the day-to-day business of the Association and make the decisions that affect all owners.

Purpose of Reserve Study

In order to maintain and preserve market values of the community and individual property, an Association must develop funding plans for future repair or replacement of major common area components.  This includes pools, decks, paving, fences, entrance signs and more.  A Reserve Study provides guidance on how much your Association should be putting aside each month for Reserves so it can meet the future obligations without requiring special assessments.