Nonprofit Board Welcome Info. Packet Example


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Nonprofit Board Welcome Info. Packet Example

  1. 1. Boulder Walk Board Responsibilities Overview The BOULDER WALK Board of Directors – Goals and Mission The BOULDER WALK Board of Directors are charged with maintaining the community at the highest possible standards and maintaining and/or growing our community and homeowner’s value. Please always keep this in mind. The BOULDER WALK Board of Directors - Powers and Duties Our HOA is headed by a volunteer board which manages the business. The specific duties and powers detailed in the governing documents include: • Enforcement of the governing documents and management of the association; • Assessment collection; • Contracting for goods, services, and insurance on behalf of the association; • Delegation to committees, officers, and employees to assist in association operation; • Preparation of budgets and financial statements; • Adoption and enforcement of rules; • Power to take disciplinary action, including fining members who violate the rules or policies; • Repair and maintenance of the common area. The BOULDER WALK Board of Directors – Officers The BOULDER WALK Board of Directors is charged with electing 4 officers to lead this term. The positions are as follows: President - Responsible for all aspects of the HOA. Oversees each committee, event, policy and communication that is created by the BOD. Vice President - Responsible for assisting the president through the current term. The VP is expected to prepare to lead the BOD for the following term. Treasurer - Responsible for creating the budget and making sure that the HOA stays within that budget. The Treasurer is also responsible for the Finance Committee. Secretary - Responsible for keeping and maintaining all of the HOA records and meeting minutes. The Secretary is responsible for all HO communications. Directors - Directors are responsible for their assigned committees and are responsible to the Board Officers.
  2. 2. Community Association 101 Prior to the mid 60s, the typical family American home was usually a single-family detached house located in a neatly arranged subdivision. Construction costs were moderate and stable. The sidewalks, streets, lighting, other basic services, and parks or recreational facilities in the neighborhood were provided and maintained by the local government through taxes. In recent years, land in desirable areas for home building has become much scarcer and, consequently, more expensive. Construction costs have continued to rise along with everything else. Government can no longer afford to provide the same level of service and variety of amenities to enhance the quality of life as it has in the past. In order to continue to produce affordable housing and maintain an adequate housing supply for the population, land use became more efficient and construction methods more economical. Ways to relieve local government of the burdening costs of infrastructure were discovered. Various forms of cluster housing with shared ownership of the land were developed which collectively are referred to as quot;community associationsquot; (CA). It is estimated that at least 20% of Americans live in this form of housing. CAs represent both a form of home ownership and a life style that is becoming more common in America. They come in a variety of types and styles, such as single-family detached houses, townhouses, garden apartments with shared quot;party walls,quot; and apartment-like, multi-storied high rises. CAs range in size from a simple two-unit development up to a large complex having thousands of units, many commonly owned facilities, and multiple associations under the auspices of one master association. Despite the wide range of differences, all allow individual owners the use of common property and facilities, and they provide for a system of self- governance and some degree of service for the benefit of the homeowners. CAs have distinct legal characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of home ownership. One important feature is that the ownership in a community association combines the right of exclusive occupancy of a residential unit with the shared ownership of the common area. Another distinguishing trait is that owners are automatically members of an association that is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the common area and a system of self-governance. To pay the costs of the operation, owners are assessed fees to cover their fair share of association expenses. The three forms of associations are condominiums, planned developments and cooperatives. Condominiums and planned developments are similar in that both provide the owner with title to a unit and the right to use the common area. The main
  3. 3. difference between condominium and planned development ownership lies in the way title to the common area is held. In a condominium, all owners have an undivided interest in the common area, whereas, in a planned development, the association usually owns the common area. In cooperatives, owners own shares of stock in a corporation that owns the structures and land. The owner has the exclusive right to use a specific unit. A community association developer should provide an effective structure for financial, administrative and maintenance operations. The structure includes levying assessments, member and board meetings, voting and elections, board duties, and rights and responsibilities of the association which all must adhere to state statute. The Declaration, By-laws and Articles of Incorporation are the documents used to establish the framework and legal basis for the quot;governmentquot; of homeowners that is created. These documents are generally enforceable in a court of law, if the need ever arises. The developer is required to operate the association in the best interest of the homeowners throughout the marketing phase until the control of the association passes to the homeowners and their elected representatives. Once this turnover or transition of power takes place, the association becomes a totally independent entity answerable to its membership. Membership The homeowners' association is unique and each owner in a CA automatically becomes a member of the association on taking title to property. Membership automatically terminates on the transfer of title. Only owners are association members and all owners must be members. Generally, each member of the association has one vote for each piece of property. While the votes are usually of equal value, weighted or percentage votes can occur if there is a substantial size or value difference between properties. Rights and Powers of the Association The association needs the authority to effectively manage, operate, and maintain the common area. That authority is provided in the governing documents. Common area typically includes landscaping, recreation facilities, private streets and driveways, outdoor lighting, structures, gates, fences, and any other common area components. The powers are delegated by the association to a board of directors elected by the membership at an annual or special meeting. The procedures for the election and removal of the board members are provided in the governing documents. Although the board is given the power to act, if an action has significant impact on the rights of the owners, prior approval by at least a majority of the owners is sometimes required. and usually prudent. Examples of actions requiring a vote are:
  4. 4. Funding the Association Regular Assessments Income for most associations is usually derived from monthly assessments levied on all owners. In some associations, those assessments may be disproportionate where owner unit sizes vary substantially or when some owners receive greater services or benefits. Regular assessments cover the day-to-day costs of maintaining recreational amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses and tennis courts, and services like landscape maintenance and window washing. Special Assessments The board usually has the authority to levy quot;specialquot; assessments for major repairs or replacements or for a one-time, unanticipated expense which cannot be covered by the regular assessments like insurance premiums that unexpectedly skyrocket. Other Charges Some associations have special charges for special services such as an owner who wants to use the common area pool, club house, or tennis courts to entertain private guests. The fees are usually on a pay-as-you-go basis, and they generally cannot become a lien on the owner's unit or interest. Lien Rights Assessments, late charges, collection costs and interest charged become an owner debt and a lien on the owner's property when the association files a lien notice with the county recorder when the property is located. The lien can be enforced in any manner permitted by law, including foreclosure, in order to recover money owed the association. When the owner pays the debt, the association must record a lien release notice. Budgeting Present and Future Reserves are an important part of the association's budget. They fund future repair and replacement of major common area components and are best collected with the regular assessment and set aside in a separate reserve account. The goal should be to reserve for all major repair and replacement costs without the need for a special assessment. Special assessments are unfair to current owners that are paying for previous owners failure to contribute. They are often a financial burden for some, difficult to collect and politically unpopular. Associations that fail to fund reserves often defer maintenance to avoid conflict. Deferred maintenance deteriorates the property and the property values. In contrast, a well- funded reserve reinforces property values, eliminates the need for special assessments and spreads predictable costs over time.
  5. 5. A reserve study gives a current cost estimate of repairing and replacing major common area components with a useful lives of 3 to 30 years. It consists of a component inventory, the remaining useful life of each component and the repair or replacement cost for each at the predicted interval. A well prepared reserve study allows easy comparison of ideal to existing reserves. Financial statements should be distributed to members at least annually to keep them informed of the association's financial position and preparedness which includes. • An operating budget that estimates revenues and expenses • A reserve study that includes current reserve funds and a statement regarding the possibility of special assessment during the coming year. The Board’s Job Homeowners who serve on the association’s board of directors typically have good intentions and want to make a meaningful contribution. However, many new directors are often not sure what is expected of them. A board orientation explains what directors are required to do, what they are allowed to do, and how to do it. Learn the language: Association: The organization that manages the community. It is usually non-profit corporation. Board of Directors: The policy-making body for the corporation. A group of elected owners who make policies and decisions for the association. Directors: The individuals who are on the board. Officers: The quot;executivesquot; who carry out the policies set by the board: typically President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The distinction between officers and directors can be confusing, particularly since the directors serve as officers. On a board of three, usually all will be officers. On larger boards of, say seven, three or four may be officers. All directors have the same voting rights when it comes to making policies. Officer positions are hierarchical, while director positions are not. In homeowner associations, the officer positions are usually used simply to designate responsibilities.
  6. 6. Parliamentary Procedure: This is the recommended process for conducting business meetings and a way to make ensure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion. There is no particular parliamentary procedure that is required by law. While Robert’s Rules of Order is often used, simply asking for comments and then requesting a formal motion (a vote on an issue) is an adequate and effective quot;parliamentary procedurequot;. Board Meetings: These are the gatherings that the directors attend to discuss issues and make decisions. Legally, owners are allowed to attend. Annual Meeting: A meeting of all the owners that usually takes place once a year. Board members who attend annual meetings do so as individual owners. They have no extra authority or voting power (except to vote on proxies that have been assigned to the Board to vote). Typically, the president presides at annual meetings. Proxy: A power of attorney granted by an owner to another person to vote at the Annual Meeting for elections and other business that may be brought before the owners. CC&Rs - Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions: The generic term used for governing documents like the Declaration, Bylaws, Resolutions and other board policies. What Is the Board Required to Do? Associations exist to protect the owners’ property values. The owners pool money to maintain the quot;common areaquot; and to some extent regulate how individual property is used. The money is paid in the form of quot;assessmentsquot; and entrusted to the association to spend wisely. The board decides how to spend the association’s money in the best interests of the entire community. No personal agendas! What Is the Board Allowed to Do? The board is allowed to do anything that is in the best interests of the entire community. (Notice the similarity between what’s required and what’s allowed!) Encouraging owners to attend meetings and participate is in the best interests of the community. So is using consultants about technical issues like engineering and financial planning. What the board is allowed to do is much more flexible than what it’s required to do. The board is required to hire contractors to perform such tasks as landscaping, fence mending and street maintenance. Developing an association web site is an optional but practical use of the board’s authority.
  7. 7. How Does the Board Realize Its Objectives? Encouraging owner participation is the best way to accomplish objectives. Owner participation creates effective communication. Most people don’t like surprises and are skeptical about the motives for change. However, if owners understand the objectives and are given the opportunity to comment, there is an increased likelihood of their support. Is that It? There are many other things that directors need to know and do. It is very important to read the governing documents and refer to them when questions and issues arise. Organizing documents and other information like rules and regulations, site plans, member and vendor directories, newsletters, meeting minutes and financial reports in a three ring binder helps keep the details sorted out and readily available. Be prepared! Associations that hire a competent property manager and other consultants will usually have an easier go of it. Particularly distasteful tasks like collections and rules enforcement are executed by the manager and make being a neighbor/director more palatable. If you are on the board or plan to run, remember: Directors who understand what they’re supposed to do, what they’re allowed to do and how to achieve objectives, will get the most accomplished and even have fun doing it. BOULDER WALK Standing Committees BOULDER WALK Architectural and Landscape Review Committee (ALRC) Overview:
  8. 8. Reviews and approves homeowner requests for exterior changes, additions, or renovations or reconstruction of individual homeowners' homes and or landscaping that as described in the governing documents or Architectural Design Policy. Makes design policy recommendations to the Board. Oversees the landscape contractor's work and makes recommendations for landscape improvement and renovation. Reviews and approves homeowner landscape requests. Organizes special cleanups, maintenance and improvements. Organizes spring community improvement days. Meets monthly. Responsibilities: Responsibilities include but are not limited to - Bi-weekly property walks for architectural violations - Bi-weekly property walks for landscape quality - Working with CMA to enforce violations - Working with the Landscape company to ensure the terms of the contract are met - Developing committee communication for all homeowners that explain policies and procedures - Developing committee communication for quarterly newsletter and monthly website articles. Monthly Board Meeting Checklist: - List of requests that have been approved or are on the table - Any new policy recommendations - Any new initiatives such as Landscape request form or community improvement day plans - Any budget expenditures and plans of execution - Proof of all communication to homeowners
  9. 9. BOULDER WALK Neighborhood Watch This group is separate from the board as the board can not govern security. Coordinates activities relating to neighborhood watch, lighting, traffic control, gate and general safety concerns. Meets monthly. Responsibilities: Responsibilities include but are not limited to - Monthly property walks for fencing and gate issues - Monthly lighting checks to ensure lighting is working - Working with CMA to enforce speeding issues - Working with the DeKalb County Police to begin our Community Watch Program - Developing committee communication for all homeowners that explain policies and procedures - Developing committee communication for quarterly newsletter and monthly website articles. Monthly Board Meeting Checklist: - List of requests that have been approved or are on the table - Any new policy recommendations - Any new initiatives such as Neighborhood watch and communication with police - Any budget expenditures and plans of execution - Proof of all communication to homeowners
  10. 10. BOULDER WALK Social and Communication Committee Distributes information to newcomers. Organizes social events like the Spring and Fall parties, yard sale, holiday decorating, etc. Keeps owners informed about HOA issues by publishing the quarterly newsletter. Meets monthly. Responsibilities: Responsibilities include but are not limited to - Working within budget guidelines for events - Creating an event schedule for the entire year - Working with local business owners to donate prizes, goods and services - Working with the EACA on communicating EAV information to homeowners - Producing and distributing the quarterly newsletter (Feb/Mar, May/June, Aug/Sep, Nov/Dec) - Developing committee communication for all homeowners that explain policies and procedures - Developing committee communication for quarterly newsletter and monthly website articles. Monthly Board Meeting Checklist: - List of requests that have been approved or are on the table - Any new policy recommendations - Any new initiatives such as events and communication - Any budget expenditures and plans of execution - Proof of all communication to homeowners BOULDER WALK Finance Committee Reviews previous years' financial history, service provider contracts, utility rates, administrative and maintenance costs to produce an
  11. 11. annual budget which is approved by the Board at its September meeting. Financial and bookkeeping experience helpful. Currently meets monthly, can meet up to four times during September and October. Responsibilities: Responsibilities include but are not limited to - Working to create budget guidelines for committees - Working with CMA on collections, communication and accounting - Working with Attorneys on collections and liens - Developing our first reserve study - Developing committee communication for all homeowners that explain policies and procedures - Developing committee communication for quarterly newsletter and monthly website articles. Monthly Board Meeting Checklist: - List of requests that have been approved or are on the table - Any new policy recommendations - Any new initiatives such as events and communication - Any budget expenditures and plans of execution - Proof of all communication to homeowners BOULDER WALK ADHOC Committees The current ADHOC committees are as follows: Technology Long-Term Planning
  12. 12. BOULDER WALK HOA Glossary of Terms Architectural Design Policy Criteria authorized by the governing documents or enacted by the Board of Directors to establish the acceptable standard for exterior paint colors, roofing, siding, fencing, size and elevation of homes and other facets of the home and landscape design. Adverse Possession A property right based on continued use and occupancy over a period of time, generally 10 to 20 years depending upon the state. If a non-owner of property takes over the use and occupancy of property (or a portion of property) without the permission of the real owner, and if certain other conditions are met, the non-owner becomes the owner of all or that part of the property. Claims to adverse possession arise most often in a situation where an adjacent property owner encroaches on a neighbor's property with a fence or road. Areas of Responsibility A policy document that defines the maintenance and/or insurance obligations of the association versus the community owners. Articles of Incorporation Documentation filed with the state which sets forth general information about a corporation. More specific rules of the corporation would be contained in the by-laws. Assessment A levy against all owners' property within a community association for the purpose of maintaining the common area and related administrative functions. Building Ordinance or Law Coverage Insurance coverage that pays for the additional cost of reconstructing a property to current building code or zoning requirements. Example: 1965 building with 4quot; exterior stud walls that burns; new building code requires 6quot; stud walls. By-Laws Rules and regulations adopted by an association or corporation which govern its activities. CC&Rs Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions are the association governing documents sometimes called the Declaration, Bylaws, Rules, Regulations, Resolutions and Articles of Incorporation. Common Area The improved real property shared by the members of a common interest development. Common Area - Exclusive Use or Limited A portion of the common areas limited to the exclusive use of one or more, but not all, owners. For example, awnings, decks, fences, patios, exterior doors, screens, windows and other components designed to serve a particular owner, but located in the common area, are considered exclusive use or limited common area.
  13. 13. Community Association A homeowners association bound by governing documents where individual owners pay assessments for the maintenance and administration of the common area. Condominium A dwelling together with an undivided interest in real property. The description of the unit may include the physical boundaries, such as walls, floors, and ceilings, the entire structure containing one or more units, or a combination of both. Cooperative - Co-op A development in which a corporation holds title to all improved real property and the corporation shareholders receive a right of exclusive occupancy in a portion of that real property. Developer (Declarant) The person or group who either sign the original declaration or acquire the original developer's (declarant’s) rights. Declaration Known is some states as the quot;enabling actquot;, quot;master deedquot;, quot;the plan of condominium ownershipquot; or quot;the declaration of covenants conditions and restrictions [CC&R's]quot;. It describes all physical elements and defines the method for determining each unit owner's share of common areas and a formula for assessing charges. It details what the unit owner specifically owns and both the owner's responsibilities to the association and vice versa. It is essentially the constitution of the association. Directors & Officers Liability Coverage Insurance coverage that protects board members in lawsuits brought due to actions [except of negligence or criminal conduct] taken on behalf of the community association. Easement A right which someone has in the land of another, such as the right to cross parcel A to get to parcel B, called an quot;easement appurtenantquot;; or a public utility easement, called an quot;easement in grossquot;. Encroachment Anything belonging to one landowner that extends onto an adjacent landowner's property is considered an encroachment. A fence that is a few inches over the property line is one example. Encumbrance A problem with the title to a property that does not affect the transfer of ownership. Fiduciary The ethical and moral obligations one person has to fulfill responsibilities to another or an institution. In a community association, a director of the board has a quot;fiduciaryquot; responsibility to act in the best interests of the association. Governing Documents The declaration, bylaws, operating rules, articles of incorporation or other documents which govern the operation of the common interest development or association.
  14. 14. Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage Insurance that pays for higher reconstruction cost relating to catastrophic events like hurricanes when widespread devastation coupled with labor and material shortages drive prices up. Indemnify To protect and defend against loss or damage, as in defend another in a lawsuit. Joint Tenancy A form of co-ownership whereby two or more people own land and share what is known as the right of survivorship. The right of survivorship means that when one joint tenant dies, that tenant's share passes automatically to the surviving joint tenants. The joint tenancy is a popular form of co-ownership because, as to the land so held, there is no need for a will or probate. Lien Any claim against a property, including mortgages, unpaid taxes or repair bills or other unpaid charges. Prospective property buyers conduct a title search to determine whether any liens against the property exist. A lien must be filed or recorded with the local county government to be attached to a property title. Mechanic's Lien A special right given to individuals and businesses which make improvements to real property. Mechanics include any worker or business which supplies building materials for the construction or improvement of real property, or any services such as contract, plumbing, painting and the like. In some states professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors may also be entitled to a lien for services rendered. Planned Development [also called PUD-Planned Unit Development] A development (other than a condominium or cooperative) having either or both of the following features: 1. The Common Area is owned either by the association or in common by the owners. 2. The association charges an assessment to all owners to maintain the common area. Proxy Power granted by one person to a representative to vote and/or speak on behalf of the person. A proxy form is often completed by an owner who is unable to attend a homeowner meeting so that a quorum can be achieved at the meeting. The proxy can usually be assigned to anyone...a friend, relative, attorney or a member of the Board of Directors. Quarrel The minimum number of people it takes to hold an argument. Quorum The minimum number of people or owner interests it takes to hold a valid Board or Annual meeting. The number or percentage varies according to the governing documents. It is not always the majority. In some situations, a minority qualifies as a quorum. Reserves Earmarked funds set aside by a community association for the repair and replacement of major components like roofing, paint, pavement and furniture that have a useful life of 3 to 30 years.
  15. 15. Reserves Funding Plan Provides a systematic method usually by monthly assessments for accumulating the money needed to fulfill timely maintenance of major components. Reserve Study Identifies all components with cyclical lives for which the association has maintenance responsibility. It measures size, quantity, remaining useful life and the cost of repair or replacement of each. The study usually provides a long range plan of 20- 40 years. Resolution Process A systematic procedure to enact and administer far-reaching, precedent-setting actions and decisions. Each resolution deals with a specific topic to define the issue and a procedure on how it will be dealt with. Examples of common resolutions are collection of money, parking, pets and architectural control. The formulation of a resolution incorporates input and feedback from the community members. Once enacted, it carries the weight of law in the community binding the Board to its provisions. There are two kinds of Resolutions: 1. Policy Resolutions relate to the long-term management of the Association, including actions affecting members' rights of enjoyment and their obligations, and the protection of the assets of the Association and its members. 2. Administrative Resolutions deal with the internal structure and operation of the Association, including responsibilities of committees, financial procedures, and administration of policies and rules. Rules & Regulations The Board is authorized to make necessary rules that are in keeping with the governing document, state and federal law. Topics often include pets, parking, noise, architectural appearance and unit maintenance. Rules should be clear, enforceable and few. Schedule of Fines A comprehensive list of fineable offenses and the amount of the fine for each. Tenancy in Common A form of shared ownership where two or more persons own land without the right of survivorship. Thus, when a tenant in common dies, the interest of the deceased tenant passes to the deceased tenant's heirs or named beneficiaries under the will. See Joint Tenancy Tenancy by the Entirety A marital interest that is recognized in less than half the states. Where recognized, it can only be created in husband and wife, each of whom enjoy the right of survivorship as to the other. Title to Real Estate Ownership of land and the right to use it, with all of its rights, privileges and duties.
  16. 16. Title Insurance Insurance provided by a title insurance company that reviews all recorded documents that impact the title of a particular piece of real estate. This title quot;searchquot; discloses mortgages, liens or other encumbrances on the property that would negatively impact the purchasers ownership rights. Turnover Meeting The event that marks the transition of administrative control from the community association developer to the owners. Unit In a condominium, a unit is usually defined as the space within a dwelling which begins at the decorated surface (sometimes starts at the wall studs and floor/ceiling joists and includes sheetrock) including all fixtures and equipment attached to it. Usually includes entry doors and windows.