Homeowners associations (HOAs) operate under a complex set of rules and regulations. For board members and homeowners, understanding the hierarchy of HOA governing documents is crucial to navigating this intricate system effectively. This article sheds light on which documents take precedence and why it matters.
The Legal Framework: Federal and State Laws
At the top of the hierarchy are federal and state laws. These laws override all other HOA documents. For instance, if HOA CC&Rs conflict with the Fair Housing Act, the federal law prevails, rendering conflicting CC&Rs provisions unenforceable.
Recorded Maps and Plans: Establishing Boundaries
Following legal statutes, the recorded map or plat of the association holds significant weight. This document, filed with the county office, outlines maintenance responsibilities, property locations, and other critical details like easements and landscaping restrictions.
CC&Rs: The Cornerstone of HOA Regulations
The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) forms the core of HOA rules. It defines homeowners’ rights, assessment obligations, and procedures for handling disputes and violations. CC&Rs guide community living, outlining permissible and prohibited actions for property use.
Articles of Incorporation: Legal Identity of the HOA
The Articles of Incorporation, containing the HOA’s legal name and corporate status, come next. While not as detailed as other documents, they are crucial for the legal existence of the HOA.
Bylaws: Governing HOA Operations
HOA bylaws, detailing operational aspects such as board member roles, meeting procedures, and voting rights, play a significant role in the HOA governing documents hierarchy. They are essential for the smooth functioning of the HOA but are subordinate to the CC&Rs and legal statutes.
Rules and Regulations: Day-to-Day Management
At the bottom are the HOA’s rules, regulations, and resolutions, focusing on daily operations. These include policies on clubhouse use, pets, and architectural standards. While amendable, they must align with higher-ranking documents.
The Role of HOA Management Services
For effective management and adherence to these documents, HOA management services play a pivotal role. For instance, HOA management services in Miami offer expertise in ensuring compliance and smooth operation of HOAs.
Why Understanding This Hierarchy Matters
Knowing which document takes precedence helps resolve conflicts and ensures legal compliance. It’s a roadmap for decision-making and dispute resolution within the HOA.
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Navigating the complexities of HOA governing documents requires expertise. Ardent Residential offers comprehensive HOA management solutions. By understanding the hierarchy of HOA governing documents, Ardent Residential ensures your community operates smoothly and legally.