Wondering how a homeowners association management company like SCS works?
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) we’ve received at Southern Community Services.
What is an association management company, what do they do, and how do I reach them?
An association management company is contracted by a homeowner’s association Board of Directors to provide services for a community. Services can include collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors and vendors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services, providing financial statements, collection reports and more. Services can also include general problem solving, serving in an advisory capacity, and communicating between homeowners and the Board of Directors. You can contact SCS here.
What is a homeowner's association?
A homeowners association is a non-profit corporation registered with the state and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas in your neighborhood and to govern the community in accordance with legal documents such as CC&R’s, bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowners association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory. Depending on the size of your community, some association memberships are optional, such as an amenity association for access to pools and tennis courts. In some cases, homeowners are members of more than one association within a community, such as a neighborhood association as well as a master association.
What are the CC&R'S?
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&R’s were recorded by the County recorder’s office of the county in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&R’s may result in a fine to the homeowner by the association. SCS uses state-of-the-art technology to record, track and enforce covenant violations, to make life easier for everyone in the community. If your association is managed by Southern Community Services, the governing legal documents for your association may be viewed here, online, by logging in and searching for your neighborhood in the Homeowners section of this website.
What are the Bylaws?
The bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The bylaws define: duties and terms of various offices of the Board of Directors, membership’s voting rights, required meetings, notices of meetings, the principal office of the association and other specific items that are necessary to run the association as a business. If your association is managed by Southern Community Services, the governing legal documents for your association may be viewed here, online, by logging in and searching for your neighborhood in the Homeowners section of this website.
What is the Board of Directors?
The Board of Directors is a group of homeowners elected by fellow homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitation and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the association governing documents.
Are there any other rules?
Most associations have developed rules and regulations as provided for in the CC&R’s and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc.
In addition, your association will adopt Architectural Review Board (ARB) guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well.
Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change without written approval of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee as applicable, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation. For more information about the specific rules of your community talk with your Community Manager.
If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?
If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Community Manager at SCS. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may complete a Covenant Violation form online. If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required, but your SCS Community Manager will be there every step of the way to help resolve the issue.
Are Board Meetings open to all residents? If so, where and when are they held?
Yes. Notice of the time and place of any regular board meeting will be noted in the community newsletter or through your Community Manager. If your association is managed by Southern Community Services, you can sign up for the newsletter online by logging in and searching for your neighborhood in the Homeowners section of this website.
If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how I can get involved?
Please contact the President of your Board of Directors to see what committee positions are available. Don’t know your President? If your association is managed by Southern Community Services, you can view your President’s contact information by logging in and searching for your neighborhood in the Homeowners section of this website.
What is my assessment?
An assessment is the periodic fee due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area in your community, and to provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Your assessments are due generally on the first day of the assessment period, which could be a month, quarter, semi-annual or annual period. Statements will be sent for assessments as a reminder of the amount due. If your community is managed by Southern Community Services, you can pay your monthly assessment online by clicking visiting the Payment page of this website.
How is the amount of my assessment determined?
The association budget is set upon specific guidelines for utilities such as landscaping and administration. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items such as lighting, street resurfacing and pool equipment. These amounts are then divided by the number of units built in a given phase of the development. Subsequent budgets are developed by the Board of Directors and adjusted periodically to meet anticipated expenses.
Will my assessment go up?
The Board of Directors may approve an increased budget, increasing your assessment in order to cover increased costs of operating and maintaining the common area and sufficient reserve funds. If you have any questions about your assessment, your SCS Community Manager can assist you.
What happens if I don't pay my assessment?
The maintenance and management services incurred by the association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge. In addition, the CC&R’s allows the association to levy late charges and interest and proceed with a lien on your property, or foreclosure proceeding for nonpayment of assessments. If you have any questions, just contact your community manager at SCS.
Got a question that isn’t answered here? Just contact us and we will connect you with the information you need.