As someone who owns a unit or house in a common-interest community, you have certain rights. You also have certain responsibilities to the association and to other homeowners. These rights and responsibilities are described in the association’s governing documents, which include covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and bylaws. And by virtue of your ownership, the association—your neighbors and fellow homeowners—presumes you know the governing documents exist and have an idea of what they contain.
As a homeowner, you have the right to:
• Participate in the association board’s decision-making process
• Attend and participate in all membership meetings
• Vote in person or by proxy
• Access association records, financial statements and governing documents
• Use and enjoy common areas (This privilege can be suspended temporarily for unpaid assessments or rules’ violations.)
• Sell or rent your individually owned unit or property
As a homeowner and member of this community, you are obligated to
• Pay your fair share—via regularly scheduled and special assessments—of the costs of operating the association and maintaining common areas. It costs money to pay property taxes, collect the trash, maintain the landscaping and shovel snow from the roads, parking areas and sidewalks.
• Maintain your personal unit or home in accordance with the association’s bylaws and architectural guidelines. Some associations’ rules are more strict about paint colors, yard ornaments and landscaping than others. Be aware of and adhere to what this association’s architectural guidelines prescribe.
• Be respectful of your neighbors and allow them the “quiet enjoyment” of their own individual units or homes. Loud parties, second-hand smoke or outdoor lighting can infringe on your neighbors’ privacy.